Kings import Henry out for rest of NBL season
Sydney's NBL finals hopes were dealt a big blow on Tuesday with star US import Corin Henry ruled out of the rest of the season after tearing a tendon in his wrist.
The injury occurred during last Saturday's narrow loss to reigning champions the New Zealand Breakers, with the Maryland-born point guard playing on following a hard fall.
However, an MRI scan after training on Monday revealed significant damage and he's now facing a 12-week layoff that ends his first season in the NBL.
"I'm really disappointed that I won't be there to help the team on the court," said a despondent Henry.
"We've got some great players that can step up, though, and I'll be there to cheer them on and help them any way I can.
"I've loved my time in Sydney and I've felt at home. It's been a privilege to play for (the Kings)."
The Kings, who currently sit fourth on the NBL ladder with a 10-12 record, have a realistic chance of making the finals for the first time since re-entering the competition in 2010.
The diminutive point guard has been a major driving force behind the team's resurgence this year, his 22 points against the Breakers nearly getting the Kings across the line as they went down by just two points in overtime.
"The timing couldn't be worse," admitted Kings coach Shane Heal.
"It's a big blow, because in the big games and in our big wins he's been a major part of that."
With their season hanging in the balance with six games remaining, Friday's home game against the Cairns Taipans is a must-win for the Kings.
"It's going to be a massive challenge, but we feel we've still got the players that can step up and cover for him," Heal said.
"And if we play like we have been playing then we're a match for anyone in this league."
If the Kings opt to replace Henry, the replacement player will not be eligible to play in the playoffs should the side make it.
NBL rules state a player must have been named on the scoresheet for seven regular season games to play in the playoffs.