Injured Bradshaw latest Bullet wound

21:38, Feb 17 2009
TOUGH LUCK: Tall Black Craig Bradshaw will be out of action for up to a month after suffering an ankle injury for his NBL club, the Brisbane Bullets.

Brisbane will be without tough Kiwi international Craig Bradshaw for up to a month due to an ankle injury, further depleting the NBL champions' big man stocks.

Bradshaw joins Bullets skipper Sam Mackinnon (knee) on the club's injured list and both will miss Saturday's local derby clash with the Gold Coast Blaze, who have hit form with wins from their past two games.

Mackinnon is currently on the NBL's injury waiver list and can't play this weekend after missing Sunday's win over Singapore to rest his sore left knee.

X-rays yesterday cleared Bradshaw of any bone damage after his ankle swelled badly overnight and Bullets general manager Jeff Van Groningen said the New Zealander will be sidelined for a few weeks.

"He's strained the lateral ligament in his left ankle and will be out for two to three weeks," said Van Groningen.

Brisbane's run of injuries, which includes swingman Mick Hill also battling an ankle injury, have presented athletic youngster Steve Broom with an opportunity to measure himself at NBL level.

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Broom, 20, gave glimpses of his exciting athleticism when pitched into the game against the Slingers on Sunday night by coach Joey Wright with a minute's notice.

With Mackinnon (knee) out and Bradshaw (ankle) in doubt, Broom, one of four development players on Brisbane's roster, is likely to get more court time against the Blaze on Saturday night.

Broom has all the tools and talent to make it at the top level, but requires further confidence, consistency and mental toughness which can only be gained with regular court time.

One teammate has described him as an "NBA athlete" who is more athletic on the court than Mackinnon.

His problem is getting the opportunities to develop the mental side of his game to match his athleticism and building his confidence and belief.

"He's been training with us for a couple of years but this year he's decided to focus on training every day," said Van Groningen.

"He really didn't know he was going to play until just before the game.

"For him to step in and not even know he was going to play and then have to put in 12 minutes in the middle of a game is pretty good.

"I thought he was great out there and I'm really happy for him.

"He can get off the floor, there's no doubt about it. He's one of the best athletes in the League."

Brisbane are likely to promote Dillon Boucher to start against the Blaze.

AAP