The NZ Breakers will be without veteran forward Thomas Abercrombie for much of their preseason campaign, with the 32-year-old sidelined with a quad injury.

Abercrombie is expected to miss up to three weeks due to the injury but should be ready to go for the team's first game of the new Australian Basketball League season on October 18.

With Abercrombie sidelined, the club has signed Tall Blacks sharpshooter Ethan Rusbatch for the 2019-20 season.

Rusbatch will join the club for their preseason Blitz tournament in Australia this week and will remain with the club for the full campaign.


The 27-year-old's contract is reward for his quality play throughout the 2019 New Zealand NBL season. Rusbatch was a driving force for the Hawke's Bay Hawks, leading the side to the grand final where they were ultimately bested by the Wellington Saints. Rusbatch was named the competition's most improved player averaging 17 points and nine assists per game.

His form earned him a position on the Tall Blacks roster to compete at the recent FIBA World Cup in China, where he showed glimpses of what he's capable of in limited minutes.

Breakers owner Matt Walsh says it was a no-brainer bringing him into the Breakers when it was made known to him that Abercrombie was injured.

"We are really excited for Ethan to join the Breakers after an amazing New Zealand season and World Cup.

"I'm confident Tom Abercrombie will be fit for the start of the NBL season against the Kings on October 18, but we have six important pre-season games including NBA hit outs against the Memphis Grizzlies and Oklahoma City Thunder".

This is Rusbatch's second stint at the Breakers having played three games in the 2016/17 season after being a development player the previous year.