Huge blow for Wildcats as playoffs approach

The NBL title race has swung drastically in Melbourne United’s favour after Perth Wildcats superstar Bryce Cotton was forced to undergo surgery on a haematoma in his quad.

Cotton, the reigning NBL MVP, has been ruled out for the remainder of the regular season and now faces a race to be fit for a finals campaign which will begin early next month.

Perth are second on the NBL ladder, behind United, and the two powerhouse clubs of 2021, with six wins more than any of their opponents, are considered a level about the rest and set to fight it out for the championship.

The injury to Cotton, which happened against Brisbane on May 19, required surgery on Sunday night.

“On Saturday, Cotton began to experience pain and swelling in the area before an ultrasound revealed bleeding in his lateral quadriceps,” the Wildcats said in a statement.

“Yesterday, an MRI further revealed the extent of the bleeding and the decision was made for him to undergo a surgical procedure to relieve the pressure and remove the blood.

“Bryce Cotton’s health remains the club’s priority, and he will be re-evaluated in two weeks ahead of the Perth Wildcats first semi-final game.”

The Wildcats must contend without Cotton for at least two weeks. (Photo by Paul Kane/Getty Images)Source:Getty Images

The Wildcats have already locked in a 35th consecutive finals appearance as they chase a third-straight NBL championship.

Perth are guaranteed to finish in the top two but with question marks hanging over when Cotton will be available, doubts also hang over the team’s ability to record a historic three-peat.

Cotton has won two NBL MVP awards, is the favourite to win this year’s gong, and has also been the grand final MVP twice.

Originally published asHuge blow for Wildcats as playoffs approach

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