NZ Breakers will be without star guard Corey Webster for longer than initially expected, with a second opinion on his injured hand returning a more concerning diagnosis.
Last week, the 32-year-old underwent surgery on his left, non-shooting hand, after slicing a nerve, while attempting to cut an avocado.
Webster's recovery time was set at three weeks, ruling him out of the Hobart-based Breakers' opening two games of the ANBL season, which begins against Adelaide 36ers on January 22.
But "secondary advice" has extended that timeframe to six weeks, with the possibility he may not get full feeling back in his finger for a year.
"I decided to just stab it in and it [the knife] just went all the way through," Webster has described his encounter with the rogue avocado pit. "I'm no Gordon Ramsay, obviously."
And the club has received more bad news on the injury front, with Tall Blacks centre Rob Loe hyperextending his knee at practice.
The team is awaiting the result of an MRI scan to determine the severity of the injury.
The squad's depth will be tested, particularly in regards to scoring, where Webster carries a substantial load, averaging just a shade less than 20 points per game last season.
Loe has also been a key post presence and an increasingly reliable perimeter shooter. Last season, he spent more than a month on the sidelines with a fractured skull, caused by a stray elbow from Illawarra Hawks - now Charlotte Hornets - guard LaMelo Ball.
At the end of 2019, Webster left the Breakers mid-season to take up a lucrative contract with China's Zheijiang Lions, but it was cut short by the early onset of COVID-19.
Both Webster and Loe are expected to come off the bench for the Breakers, behind new US imports Lamar Patterson and Colton Iverson.