Wildcat could face Hawks in a helmet

Matt Knight of the Wildcats with the ball.
Matt Knight of the Wildcats with the ball. RICHARD WAINWRIGHT

BASKETBALL: Perth Wildcats big man Matt Knight could play in Sunday's grand final series game three in a helmet.

Knight suffered the latest in a series of concussions during game two against the Illawarra Hawks on Wednesday night.

"He'll have a run around tomorrow," coach Trevor Gleeson said on Friday. "If he feels okay from that, we'll go from what the doctors say. It's a 50-50 at the moment. Hopefully he can play, but there's no guarantee he can.

"The first thing is the health. You don't want anything to go wrong with that, and we'll do everything we possibly can to make sure he's okay.

"It's 100% up to the medical staff. It was up to Matty, he'd play. He'd put the jersey on. But we've got to take a long-term view with it, and make sure that his welfare comes first before any basketball game."

Gleeson said they would sit down with Knight in the post-season to talk about his future because of concerns around his health.

"It's a concern to get so many hits on the head in one season and over the course of his career and that's certainly a big area that we'll go over in the off-season," he said.

But for now, if Knight plays on Sunday, he will start and could be sporting some new headgear.

"If he plays he might wear a helmet," he said. "I don't know, that's something we'll go through with the medical staff."

Gleeson said there was more excitement than nerves in the camp as the Wildcats look to seal their eighth championship with a 3-0 sweep in front of their fans at Perth Arena.

"Obviously their backs are against the wall," Gleeson said of the Hawks. "They are going to come out, they are young and aggressive and they'll do very similar to game two and they'll mix it up from the zone and traps.

"We think we're pretty well prepared and hopefully we can produce that again on Sunday.

"You still have to win three games. Nothing has changed from game one - you still have to win three games. And we haven't done that yet.

"Until we do that, the championship's still open."

Topics:  nbl perth wildcats

News Corp Australia

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