NZ Breakers import Lamar Patterson has been ruled out for more than a month, after limping off the court against Illawarra Hawks on Monday.
The powerful forward went down, clasping a knee, after making a layup during the third quarter. He immediately left the game and didn't return, contributing 13 points and one rebound in a 102-88 loss.
The club initially announced that he had avoided serious injury, but when the problem did not respond to treatment, the team sought further advice and learned the bad news.
"A subsequent MRI scan has revealed a low-level MCL [medial cruciate ligament] strain, which will sideline him for 4-6 weeks," the club tweets.
With that prognosis, the Breakers must now consider whether to call in reinforcements for their dwindling roster.
Patterson is a two-time All-ANBL First Team selection and a former college teammate of Kiwi NBA star Steven Adams, but his form so far this season has been a contributing factor to the Breakers' one-win/five-loss record at the foot of the competition table.
After scoring 21.4 points a game for Brisbane Bullets last season, Patterson is averaging just 10.8 points for the Breakers, shooting just 37 percent from the field and 22 percent from the three-point arc.
But the four-time ANBL champions cannot afford to play without an import for long, after Tall Blacks centre Rob Loe returned home from Australia last week, ruling himself out of a return this season.