Nelson Giants lose import point guard Kyle Adnam for another week
The Nelson Giants will be without leading scorer Kyle Adnam for Friday's crucial game against the Bay Hawks, and this time it is not due to injury.
The import point guard, who has missed the past two National Basketball League games due to turf toe, is heading to China to link up with Melbourne United for a two-game series against the Jiangsu Dragons.
Though a place in the Final Four seems well out of reach for the Giants - now 3-9 after losing 76-71 to the Super City Rangers last week - they are entering must-win territory for another reason as they aim to avoid what would be the franchise's first wooden spoon.
So that makes the unavailability of their on-court organiser that much more frustrating for coach Brendon Bailey as he prepares for their third meeting with the Hawks (3-7), even if the young Australian's absence was agreed to prior to arriving in New Zealand.
"We haven't lost him for the season. He's just away for one game," Bailey said.
"[Previous coach] Alan [McAughtry] and the directors all knew about it when they signed him a couple of months ago."
Adnam, who recently signed a new three-year contract with Melbourne, is expected to be available for the following game against the league leading Wellington Saints. But that is assuming he doesn't aggravate his toe injury while playing overseas.
"He was told by the physios here that he needed just under a week to be right so he was probably going to be fit to play their first game but the likelihood was he would aim to play one and not push it. But we have the upmost faith in Melbourne's physios.
"He signed a three-year contract for them so they'll look after him well and all going well we're hoping to have him back for the home game against the Saints next week."
Losing Adnam, who is averaging 17.1 points per game, makes the Giants' task that much tougher against a side they have failed to beat on two occasions.