Basketball: Corey Webster bites bullet, elects for surgery

By Grant Chapman

New Zealand Breakers basketball player Corey Webster. Photo / Greg Bowker
New Zealand Breakers basketball player Corey Webster. Photo / Greg Bowker

Embattled NZ Breakers guard Corey Webster has admitted he's scared of the hip surgery that will keep him off the court for the rest of the Australian NBL season.

You could hear it in his voice, as he described the medical process required to correct a problem that has plagued him through an already challenging campaign.

"It's keyhole surgery and involves shaving some bone that's been rubbing on another bone and causing cartilage damage," explained Webster.

"So there are two procedures - shaving the bone and re-attaching some cartilage.

"It was kind of the last option for me. I didn't really want to have to do it, but just trying to push through it and continue playing, I could feel it in my body that it was getting worse and wasn't really going anywhere.

"To be honest, I'm a little scared of it, but I'm sure the surgeons know exactly what they're doing and the outcome will be good.

"I've talked to a couple of other people that have had it. [American import] Ben Woodside had it and recovered from it well, so I'm hoping it will be the same for me," he said.

The decision could not have come at a worse time for Webster, who is also facing off-court challenges in the form of three assault charges relating to an incident at a Takapuna bar last November.

Usually, athletes can find refuge from real-world issues by focusing on what they do best, but Webster's body has deprived him of that comfort.

"For sure, I'd rather be playing than be anywhere else," he admitted. "It's frustrating."

Breakers general manager Dillon Boucher said the club supports Webster's decision to have surgery.

"It's obviously devastating for Corey, knowing he's had to take this path," Boucher said.

"We always knew that he had some issues going on in his hip, which aggravated his back, which led to a lot of things through the season.

"He's a baller, he wants to be out on the court and this is not a decision he would have taken lightly. We know this is going to be better for Corey and hopefully, he can come back and not have these niggly injuries hanging around."

Webster is likely to be out of action for up to six months and while he hasn't ruled out a return for the Tall Blacks national team campaign later this year, although he won't commit unless he's physically fit.

Meanwhile, his club continues to stagger under a spate of injuries that have also sidelined Woodside, replacement David Stockton and forward Tom Abercrombie. Stockton was the latest to fall and is questionable for tomorrow's road encounter against Cairns Taipans with a back complaint.

"It's part of the business," Boucher said.

"There are going to be injuries throughout a season and each season will differ.

"It's just some you have to deal with and as each one comes across my desk, you deal with it as it comes."

- NZ Herald

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