NZ Breakers' backcourters battling injuries

MARC HINTON
Last updated 05:00 04/02/2014
CJ Bruton
IAIN MCGREGOR/Fairfax NZ
LEGEND: CJ Bruton in action for the Breakers in pre-season.

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Veteran Breakers backcourters CJ Bruton and Daryl Corletto are both fighting to be fit for Saturday night's pivotal rematch against the Kings in Sydney.

Corletto has a medial ligament strain in his knee and Bruton took a nasty whack to the face in last Thursday's statement-making 105-87 victory over the Kings at Vector. Neither was able to train yesterday as the Breakers put in a short but sharp session at their North Shore base, but coach Dean Vickerman is confident both will travel to Sydney.

"We'll see how Daryl goes, it's a strain, and it's going to take time to get better, so whether he's 100 per cent by the time we play, we'll have to see," Vickerman said.

"CJ's injury hasn't improved so much. He's got a bit of numbness in the face and it's causing him some headaches. I don't think there's a fracture there but we're getting some more advice later today."

Corletto said he felt like the injury was getting better and he was hoping to practise tomorrow to prove his readiness.

Bruton will be all right to step on court as soon as he starts feeling better, though team-mate Kerron Johnson joked the 38-year-old might need to wear a Perspex mask, a la Rip Hamilton.

Saturday's return clash against the fourth-placed Kings (9-9) shapes as a massive one as the Breakers look to put together their first three-game win streak for the season.

At 8-11 they still have plenty of work to do, though another victory over a Kings side they have already beaten twice this season would get them within a game of the Sydneysiders.

Vickerman was anticipating some serious adjustments from the Kings after they were outplayed by the Breakers in Auckland.

"We've got to prepare for them to be more aggressive with their defence, which they did a bit in the second half, but still prepare for their zone attack and the things they showed in the first half as well," he said.

The Breakers will travel to Sydney on Friday.

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