The Perth Wildcats warmed up for what is expected to be another bruising clash against the New Zealand Breakers on Sunday with a similarly physical training session at the WA Basketball Centre this morning.
Young gun Jesse Wagstaff failed to complete the session after receiving a blow to his badly bruised right hip, which will require padded protection in the game at Challenge Stadium.
Wagstaff was ordered to rest by Wildcats coaching staff and star Boomers point-guard Damian Martin was also on light duties after shouldering a heavy workload in recent weeks.
But that is nothing out of the ordinary for Martin and veteran workhorse Brad Robbins, who coach Rob Beveridge rates amongst the most determined trainers he's seen in 18 years of coaching basketball.
Matt Knight looked sore at times during another physically challenging practice session today, however, Beveridge joked that was just the way his "big lumberjack from Tasmania" normally ran.
Knight is a certain starter against the Breakers after overcoming an ankle complaint that kept him out of last week's road trip to Townsville and Cairns.
"Matty Knight's 100 per cent to come back," Beveridge said.
"He's already done three two-hour sessions this week and, yeah, he's a little bit sore, but he's a tough boy and he's pretty excited about coming up against the Breakers."
Knight looms as a vital cog in the Wildcats line-up against the well-oiled New Zealand machine, who remain unbeaten ahead of their clash with the Adelaide 36ers tonight.
His rebounding ability will be crucial against the strong Breakers big men, who pulled down 20 offensive boards when they last met the Wildcats in round two.
"Knight's massive on the glass for us, he's our biggest and strongest player," Beveridge said.
"Rebounding is a mentality thing and we've showed that against big teams, when we played against Townsville and Melbourne we smashed them on the boards."When we played New Zealand last time they beat us, so our emphasis this week has been on having a better mentality, that's what we're after."
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