8 Dec 2021

Abercrombie to return to the court next week

10:42 am on 8 December 2021

Breakers captain Tom Abercrombie is hopeful of joining his team-mates again next week to help get their Australian National Basketball League season on track.

It's been a disruptive couple of weeks for the Auckland club who had Covid-19 hit their squad just before the start of the season.

Tom Abercrombie of the New Zealand Breakers looks on from the bench.


There were nine cases in the club which failed in their attempt to have their opening game postponed.

Abercrombie suffered a side strain three weeks ago in a pre-season game with the initial prognosis having him out for up to six weeks.

He helped his team-mates at training last week and then watched from the sidelines as they suffered a 24 point loss to South East Melbourne Phoenix in their opening game.

"Obviously as captain I'd love to be out there helping the guys, especially in this early part of the season, said the 34 year old.

"Now I'm focussing on myself and getting back into shape so I can hit the ground running when I join the guys next week.

"This injury hasn't held me back, I've been able to do a lot of running and shooting over these last couple of weeks and so I'm feeling good in a lot of areas, I just need to tick off those last few boxes."

During his time on the sidelines the team caught Covid, isolated, recovered and then were well beaten in their opening game.

Coach Dan Shamir was one of those hit by the pandemic with assistant Mody Maor taking the reigns.

"I've never in my life missed a practice or a game... not for the birth of a child and definitely not for being sick," said Shamir on his return this week.

Abercrombie stepped into an assistants role last week, but admits he's glad to have Shamir back in charge.

"Just having a bit more stability in the team, we missed his leadership and I think it's been good for him also to see things in a slightly different perspective.

"I think he has a new appreciation for it coming back.

"As great a job that Mody did while Dan was away, we were still missing a piece of that puzzle."

Mody Maor, assistant coach of the New Zealand Breakers as they play South East Melbourne Phoenix.


Abercrombie is very happy with how his oblique tear is responding to treatment, three weeks after he limped off the court.

"It's healing faster than we all thought it would, it was a sort of mystery injury to begin with so we didn't really know how I was going to recover.

"It's coming along really well and I'm hoping I'll be able to join the guys in practice next week and all things going well be back on court next weekend."

The Breakers were well below their best in their 89-65 loss to South East Melbourne Phoenix last weekend, but that wasn't surprising with their coach and a couple of key players out, while their preparation was drastically affected by the Covid outbreak within the camp.

"Last week was tough, we were trying to plug some gaps, but obviously having most of our pieces back now we're able to establishment some sense of normality and routine.

"We've had a good build-up to this game and we're lucky that we're playing the same team again (the South East Melbourne Phoenix) so hopefully we can right our wrongs and put in a better performance.

The Breakers play the Phoenix on Friday night and then Adelaide on Sunday, while next weekend they have games against Illawarra and Melbourne United.