It is expected Breakers star shooting guard Corey Webster will be out for four weeks as he continues to recover from a knee problem, but specialists say he will play again this season.
“I feel devastated,” Webster said from the team’s base in Melbourne.
“I feel like I’m letting the team down and I don’t feel good about it.”
It is a shock setback for the Kiwi sharpshooter, who has been dominating the NBL alongside his brother Tai following his successful return from a hand injury at the start of the season.
Even with limited feeling in his left hand’s ring finger, the 32-year-old has been playing nearly 29 minutes a game in nine outings, averaging 18.1 points and shooting 50 percent from the field.
Webster’s injury is the latest setback in a luckless 2021, in which the Breakers have to play all their games away from home in a Covid-ravaged season.
Breakers management is now moving quickly to fill player gaps, with two-thirds of the regular season still left to play.
Highly-regarded Australian guard William McDowell-White, who has just completed two seasons playing for the Houston Rockets in the NBA’s G-League, has signed to cover Webster.
The 22-year-old is expected to leave Los Angeles in the next 24 hours and will complete the two-week quarantine in Australia before joining up with his new Breakers teammates.
At 6’5” or 1.96m, McDowell-White is currently in the Australian Boomers' 23-man Tokyo Olympics Squad.
He has previously represented Australia at the FIBA Under-19 World Cup.
“We are very happy to add Will McDowell-White. He just finished his second season in the G-League and is in good shape,” Breakers coach Dan Shamir said.
“He’s a very capable player; all the components are there, he’s got size and good court vision.”