The Southland Sharks are undergoing a mini injury crisis as they attempt to provide their 2017 season with some momentum against the Super City Rangers in Invercargill on Saturday night.
An injury cloud hangs over both Derone Raukawa and captain Duane Bailey with the pair strong possibilities to miss the showdown with the Rangers.
Raukawa has a hip problem which forced him out of the two games on the road against Nelson and Taranaki.
It is unlikely that coach Judd Flavell will rush Raukawa back to play against the Rangers.
Bailey has some leg problems and it also is an unlikely starter against his former team.
The good news is Alex Pledger has recovered from his concussion problems and after playing 17 minutes from the bench in the loss to Taranaki last Friday night will now be eager to make his mark against the Rangers.
Southland has a two win and two loss record, while the Rangers go into Saturday night with three wins from four games.
To add to it the Auckland team will be provided a big boost for the game in Invercargill with Earnest Ross joining the team.
Ross carved a high school and college career in the United States but is from Guam which mean under FIBA Oceania rules he can join the Rangers setup without taking up an import spot.
The 26-year-old shooting guard has played in Denmark and also in Australia with the Perth Wildcats.
Meanwhile, former Southland Sharks coach Paul Henare will be in Invercargill watching Saturday night's game.
Henare will be an interested onlooker as he looks at his potential Tall Blacks options.
AT A GLANCE
What: National Basketball League
Who: Southland Sharks v Super City Rangers
Where: ILT Stadium Southland, Invercargill
When: Saturday, 7pm
Article and image courtesy of The Southland Times