Clubs clash over jaw break for skipper

Perth Wildcats captain Damian Martin suffers a broken jaw during the NBL game against the Townsville Crocodiles in Townsville. Photo: AAP Image/Perth Wildcats
Perth Wildcats captain Damian Martin suffers a broken jaw during the NBL game against the Townsville Crocodiles in Townsville. Photo: AAP Image/Perth Wildcats

AN UGLY incident involving Townsville big man Brian Conklin that left Wildcats captain Damian Martin with a fractured jaw could spill over when the teams square off in a rematch in Perth tonight.

Conklin, last season's MVP, caught Martin flush on the jaw with an elbow with one minute on the clock when the teams met in Townsville on Wednesday night, the Crocs going on to claim an upset 89-77 win.

The contact left Martin needing surgery to repair his jaw which was broken in two at the chin, and also to replace three teeth that came loose.

Wildcats coach Trevor Gleeson didn't hold back after the match, saying "that's one of the dirtiest plays I've ever seen''.

"Conklin just dropped his elbow right on his jaw and he is going to hospital for a suspected fractured jaw and has lost a couple of teeth,'' he said. "It's a dirty play without a question."

That prompted Townsville coach Shawn Dennis to suggest Gleeson should look at his own players before accusing other teams.

"We don't play dirty. That's pretty ironic coming from him (Gleeson)," Dennis said.

"They've got a few guys on their team that throw a lot of elbows. Perhaps he needs to look at his own backyard."

Conklin had not been charged over the incident yesterday. Martin is expected to miss at least eight weeks, and possibly 12.

In tonight's other game Illawarra (5th, 3-4) hosts Cairns (6th, 3-4).



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