Breakers point guard reveals painful injury affecting shooting accuracy
It should surprise few to learn Cedric Jackson has been struggling with an elbow injury.
The Breakers' best player has seen his shooting stroke desert him after a fast start to the season, with his most recent three games featuring a notable swoon in production.
Jackson first felt the ailment in his shooting arm during the pre-season but only recently has the pain in the joint become prohibitive. It now hurts when the point guard shoots and, while he intends to play through the pain against Townsville tonight, whether he can make the required offensive contribution remains to be seen.
Through the Breakers' first two games - both big wins - Jackson was making 54 per cent of his shots from the floor and half of his attempts from beyond the arc. The next three games - two losses and an ugly win against Wollongong on Sunday - saw the American make just 29 per cent from the field and an anaemic 15 per cent from deep.
Those three games have also seen a notable regression from the offence as a whole and, as they attempt to bounce back at Vector Arena, the Breakers will hope a bit of rest and a lot of ice will help Jackson recover his shooting touch.
"It's in a little bit of pain right now but I think I'll be all right for the game," he said. "It hurts to shoot, and passing and things like that.
"So I just have to play through it and hope the adrenalin will get me through. I'll just ignore it when the game comes."
Ignoring the problem will hardly make it disappear, though. Jackson has been forced to make an adjustment as he deals with injury and, as much as he wouldn't want to admit it, that adjustment might have hindered his output.
"You've got to, because you have to compensate for the pain. But I don't want that to slow me down in any way and I don't want to make that a reason I have to change up my game."
If the pain fails to subside, Jackson will be left to explore other options, but he hopes an elbow sleeve will help him manage the discomfort.
"I know injuries happen during the season - it's just something that comes with the game - so nobody's going to feel sorry for me," he said. "I'm just going to be confident and play through it, and hopefully I'll still be effective when I get out there."
There is one way for Jackson to increase his effectiveness. Jackson's made only two of his last 13 free-throw attempts and he knows that mark is nowhere near good enough.
"That slow motion shot is really a killer. You've got to stay confident and have belief in yourself that you can do it. It's just a big confidence thing."