The Breakers will be without injured star Akil Mitchell for the remainder of the NBL season, with the forward returning to home to the USA to receive further treatment on his injured eye.
Mitchell, 24, suffered a sickening injury to his left eye against the Cairn Taipans when contesting a rebound with centre Nnanna Egwu, leaving the eyeball out of the socket.
Today the Breakers confirmed that Mitchell, who has been with the club since 2016, has been released in order to seek medical attention for his eye, and that he will miss the crucial end of season match with Melbourne United on Friday.
Breakers coach Paul Henare thanked Mitchell for his services in what's been a difficult season for the club, insisting that the player's health is the most important thing.
"Akil has been magnificent these past two weeks since the injury suffered against Cairns," Henare said in a media release.
"Right from the moment he left the floor with one arm raised to the fans, thinking of them despite the obvious pain and distress he was in, he has been a model of professionalism and has lived Breakers values in all he has said and done."
"However, it has become clear in recent days that he was not making the progress he would like and his agent has organized for him to receive further treatment back home."
"Understandably healing 100% from this injury is of the utmost concern to Akil and we as a team and club support him in that goal and wish him a full recovery."
Mitchell thanked the club and it's supporters for welcoming him.
"I leave with a heavy heart but I must do all I can to make sure I return to full health," Mitchell said.
"The past few weeks have been a rollercoaster to say the least, but I have never lacked for the support and love of my team mates, coaches and everyone at the club.
"The messages from the fans here at the Breakers and from back home in the US have meant the world to me and my family."