The Breakers and Ben Woodside got the news they didn't want to hear today with confirmation of a serious injury to the American point guard.
Woodside was injured in overtime during the clutch Australian NBL win over Melbourne on Friday night. He missed Sunday's win over Brisbane as a result and will not suit up against the Cairns Taipans on Friday night at Vector Arena.
Breakers officials are expecting to be without him for a minimum of six to eight weeks.
Woodside has had scans confirm a rupture to the plantar fascia in his right foot with head coach Paul Henare confirming the news at training today.
"It is not good news for Ben and right now we are all feeling for him," said Henare. "I guess everyone kind of knew when he suffered the injury that it was a relatively serious one, he was in a lot of pain and it was clear that he was going to be out for some time.
"The scans have revealed the extent of the damage, with medical advice suggesting a minimum recovery time of six to eight weeks. This is a blow first and foremost to Ben, for any player to be ruled out for any length of time is tough, he is hurting and we are hurting for him as a group.
"Ben has quickly become one of the leaders in our group and the chemistry that he was building with the rest of the team was exactly what we expected when we signed him. He took little time in understanding who we are as a club and as a team and is a perfect fit for our values and our identity as a team. Right now we will make sure he has all the access to the best treatment and rehabilitation to return to fitness as soon as possible."
Woodside spoke of his devastation.
"I was real emotional when it happened, sure there was some pain but for me it hit pretty quickly that I was hurt reasonably bad and at the worst time," he said. "Just as we were finding our chemistry as a group, just when we were moving in the right direction and we were establishing a real understanding, this happens and I might have set that back some.
"On a personal level yeah, this hurts physically and emotionally, but my concern is for this team and I will continue to do what I can to help us get better and not lose that momentum over these next few games, starting Friday night against Cairns, I will be there doing whatever I can to help us."
The club has moved quickly given the serious nature of the injury to seek a replacement, turning to the international market for a new point guard, preferably one that will arrive in time for Friday night's game.
"Knowing that Ben was going to be out for a number of weeks we have already set the wheels in motion to find a replacement," said Henare.
"We have already had a response from our agent and are working through a number of options and believe we will sign a quality player. This league can be over before you blink an eye, we are already a quarter of the way through the season, every game is vital so we cannot waste any time in seeking a replacement."
Any further decisions on the time for that replacement player and the rehab programme for Woodside will be made in the days and weeks ahead, with the club for now just focused on Woodside's welfare and having a new point guard in town, possibly in time for Friday night's 7:30pm tip off.