KO’d Cat to re­turn against Taipans

Townsville Bulletin - - Sport -

PERTH for­ward Matt Knight, car­ried un­con­scious from the court in Townsville three days ago, is ex­pected to be back in ac­tion for the Wild­cats’ cru­cial NBL clash with Cairns next week­end.

Knight suf­fered con­cus­sion in a nasty fall – he slammed into the court head­first – dur­ing Perth’s loss at The Swamp on Fri­day.

He was stretchered off in the fi­nal quar­ter and taken to hos­pi­tal where scans showed he’d been con­cussed.

Townsville ( 16-10) came from be­hind to win the match 72-71 and move above Perth ( 16-11) into sec­ond spot.

There was also a po­si­tion swap for fourth and fifth, as Cairns ( 14-12) climbed above Wol­lon­gong ( 14-13) af­ter a dra­matic 68-67 away win over the Hawks.

Perth coach Rob Bev­eridge says Knight, who has missed 13 games this sea­son due to a calf in­jury, was kept in hos­pi­tal un­til the early hours of Satur­day morn­ing but should be right for the NBL’s penul­ti­mate round.

‘‘ He’s as tough as they come and he’s been through a fair bit of ad­ver­sity al­ready. and I think he’ll def­i­nitely play next week,’’ Bev­eridge said.

Bev­eridge still has one in­jury concern, with guard Drew Wil­liamson to un­dergo an MRI to­day af­ter his knee swelled up on the plane trip home.

With two rounds to go, Townsville will clinch sec­ond if they win their fi­nal reg­u­lar sea­son games away to Mel­bourne and Cairns.

If they lose one and Perth win their one re­main­ing match at Cairns, the Wild­cats will fin­ish sec­ond as they have the sea­son split on the Crocs.

Two losses for the Crocs com­bined with two wins for Cairns would rel­e­gate Townsville to fourth, as the Taipans also have the split on their North Queens­land ri­val.

‘‘ I can’t think of any­thing bet­ter com­ing into the play-offs than to get Perth, then Mel­bourne and Cairns on the road to fin­ish the reg­u­lar sea­son,’’ Townsville coach Trevor Glee­son said.

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