Casey Prather clutches at his elbow after dislocating it during the NBL match against Illawarra.
Casey Prather clutches at his elbow after dislocating it during the NBL match against Illawarra. CRAIG GOLDING

United's NBL hopes suffer injury blow

BASKETBALL: Melbourne coach Dean Vickerman has conceded replacing injured star Casey Prather will not be easy with United likely to be without the shooting guard for at least eight weeks.

United confirmed yesterday that Prather faces a lengthy stint on the sidelines after badly dislocating his elbow in the second quarter of United's six-point win over Illawarra on Saturday night.

Melbourne are currently awaiting a second opinion to confirm the most suited rehabilitation for Prather but are consigned to being without him for a big chunk of the season.

"It's obviously a bad dislocation,” Vickerman said.

"We'll assess the situation and make adjustments from there.”

Casey Prather has been on fire for Melbourne United, averaging 18 points for the season.
Casey Prather has been on fire for Melbourne United, averaging 18 points for the season. JULIAN SMITH

Prather, 26, has been the most damaging and consistent player in United's star-studded back-court alongside Casper Ware and sharpshooter Chris Goulding.

The two-time NBL champion former Wildcat has been in blistering touch, averaging 18 points, five rebounds and 1.5 steals in 13 games.

Tai Wesley brings the ball upcourt for Melbourne United.
Tai Wesley brings the ball upcourt for Melbourne United. DAVID MARIUZ

His absence opens the door for in-form Tai Wesley to shoulder a heavier load while Pete Hooley, Kyle Adnam and Craig Moller could see a spike in minutes.

United (7-6) must defeat Adelaide (7-6) on Friday night at Hisense Arena to cement their place in the top four.

Three games separate five teams from third to seventh on the NBL ladder behind the runaway Wildcats (10-3) and Breakers (10-4).



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