Top Cat clear to return
Top Cat clear to return

Perth Wildcats centre Matt Knight will return to full training next week after being given the all-clear by medical specialists in Melbourne today.

Knight has missed the past six games after two concussions in quick succession.

He has been on a reduced training load, working away from the main group with no contact work, and will miss tonight’s top-of-the-table clash with Adelaide at Perth Arena.

Knight is due to return from Melbourne tonight after having more tests to measure the continuing symptoms of concussion.

He is likely to play his first game since January 10 when the Wildcats host Melbourne next Friday.

“Just received the OK from the specialist!!” Knight announced via his Twitter account this afternoon.

“This trip home going to be much more fun now!! Then off to the arena to watch my boys!!”

Tom Jervis and Jesse Wagstaff have worked hard to fill the centre position in Knight’s absence, but Wildcats vice-captain Shawn Redhage said this week the first-choice big man’s return was vital to the team’s championship tilt.

“He’s a crucial part of the team and we’ll all be excited when he gets back on the court,” Redhage said.

“It may take him a week or two to get back to his best, but we want to have him back as soon as possible.”

American guard Drake U’u will play against Adelaide tonight despite copping an accidental poke in his right eye from teammate Jermaine Beal at training on Monday.

The incident left the rookie writhing in pain on the court and he sat out the rest of the session.

U’u, who has a black eye from the incident, was assessed by medical staff and had a light training session away from the main group on Wednesday.

But he joined in yesterday’s session at the Arena and is expected to play his usual role off the bench.

The Wildcats (16-6) have lost three of their past four games and will be looking to snap out of the form slump against second-placed Adelaide (13-7).

A win for the 36ers would blow wide open the race for top spot and home court advantage in the play-offs.

The West Australian

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