The Perth Wildcats will face a Melbourne Tigers side reeling from the loss of injured forward Lucas Walker at Perth Arena on Friday night.
Walker has been a key contributor on the defensive end for Melbourne this season, but was today ruled out for at least three games due to a recurring Achilles tendon issue.
Melbourne coach Chris Anstey said Walker’s absence was a major blow for his third-placed team, which is aiming to secure a play-offs berth for the first time since 2009.
“(Walker) won’t play the next three games and then he will be reassessed after that,” Anstey said.
“He is wearing a moon boot, which takes the strain off it, but it’s something he’s had issues with over the years.”
Tigers captain Tommy Greer is likely to move into the starting line-up as cover for Walker, while development player Greg Page will step onto the 10-man roster.
“Greg will come onto the 10, but Tommy and Owen Odigie will probably take Waxy's (Walker’s) minutes,” Anstey said.
“We need them to step up in that role.”
Melbourne (10-8) face a big test of their championship credentials over the next month.
They meet the red-hot Wildcats (15-3) three times and second-placed Adelaide (12-5) once in their next five games.