Nate Reinking’s place in the Mersey Tigers team for Sunday’s BBL Cup Final against Sheffield remains a doubt due to a calf injury.
Even Head Coach Tony Garbelotto admits he doesn’t know whether the Great Britain star will make it, with the player himself insisting he is ready, but the club’s physio team saying otherwise.
Reinking, 37, joined the Tigers earlier in the season and played a major part in the semi-final victory over Newcastle Eagles which set up the final clash at Birmingham’s National Indoor Arena (3.30pm tip).
The former Derby Storm and Sheffield Sharks guard said: “The calf is just normal. I’m taking care of it and the trainers are taking care of me so hopefully by Sunday it’s going to be one hundred percent and I’ll be able to go just like normal.”
Reinking is due to meet up with the Great Britain physio team on Wednesday to further investigate his problem, and he was still receiving treatment before participating in light training with the Tigers on Tuesday.
Coach Garbelotto said: “The injury was a lot worse than we thought. He didn’t play last weekend because we wanted to make double sure we have him for next Sunday.
“Nate’s a rhythm player, he’s the type of guy who prides himself in being in tip-top shape and really ready to play. At the moment, it’s killing him and it’s killing us.”
Reinking picked up the knock during the win over Worthing Thunder on January 2nd, forcing him out of last weekend’s two games against Milton Keynes Lions and Plymouth Raiders.
In Reinking’s absence, the Tigers suffered only their second defeat of the season at Plymouth, losing 91-86 with an under-strength bench which was also missing suspended duo David Aliu and Drew Sullivan.