NZ Breakers centre Rob Loe will be back on the court much sooner than expected after receiving the "best case scenario" in the diagnosis of his skull fracture.
The 28-year-old has had a nervous wait over the last week, spending time in hospital and undergoing tests to determine the extent of the injury suffered in last Thursday's win over Illawarra Hawks in Auckland.
After dealing with headaches and concussion symptoms over the past week, Loe was told of his situation on Wednesday morning and confirmed that the hope was the injury would only keep him out for a month.
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"The dent doesn't look too bad with the swelling coming down now so hopefully it's only four weeks that I'm out for," Loe said. "It's pretty good news."
"The scan on Friday morning showed a fracture but it didn't show the extent, and I still don't think you can see the extent of the dent - there's a bit of swelling. So it was a bit of a worrying wait but I'm feeling a lot better after seeing the doctor today and hopefully the good news continues."
Loe left the court early in the first quarter of the side's blowout win over the Illawarra Hawks in Auckland last Thursday after a collision with Hawks guard LaMelo Ball.
Familiar with wearing elbows every now and then on defence, he put his hand to his face thinking he might be bleeding. Instead, he felt a dent in his head.
"Obviously you don't want to feel a dent in your head," he said.
"Once I felt that I knew there was something pretty wrong."
While Loe was hopeful of returning in four weeks' time, he said he wouldn't be forcing himself back onto the court and would be wearing a face mask when he does return.
"You don't want to jump back into contact too soon. You want to make sure it's healed enough so you don't do more damage."
He won't need to force himself to get back out there, however, with the Breakers bringing in South Sudanese-Australian Deng Deng as an injury replacement, while import Brandon Ashley has shown he's good to go in the starting centre role.
While Deng may be unfamiliar to many of the Breakers team and fans, he's a familiar face to Ashley with the two having spent time in the NBA development league together. The former Sydney King will likely be available for the Breakers in Thursday night's match against the Cairns Taipans in Auckland.
"I know his game pretty well and yesterday he had a great practice. He can do a lot of things and he's athletic so I'm looking forward to seeing what he can bring for us," Ashley said.
"He's a really skilled guy...he's one of those guys who can do a little bit of everything and bring versatility to our team."