WOLLONGONG will be without embattled shooting guard Tyson Demos for Sunday's clash with Melbourne at the State Netball & Hockey Centre.
Tyson underwent an MRI scan on his knee on Thursday after it deteriorated in training. Results confirmed he will need to see a specialist and it is likely the 24-year-old will miss at least a couple of weeks.
''We won't know for sure until he sees that specialist, then we'll come up with a plan for him,'' coach Gordie McLeod said.
The injury comes a week after the sudden death of Demos's father, a loss that was felt throughout the club. ''It's been a really tough week for us after Tyson lost his dad. A lot of the guys were close to him and this was compounded by his injury,'' McLeod said.
The Hawks are already without guard/forward Tim Coenraad for several weeks. That means they increase their reliance on guards Lance Hurdle, Adris DeLeon and Rhys Martin.
''It'll mean they will have to step up. That's a challenge for them that they'll have to face on Sunday,'' McLeod said. Arguably the biggest task the Hawks will face will be limiting the influence of Tigers guard Jonny Flynn. The 2009 first-round NBA pick is making his presence felt in the league and will no doubt become one of the NBL's most talked about players in the future.
But while McLeod is aware of the 23-year-old's potential influence, he is quick to point out the danger of focusing on one man.
''He obviously comes with a very good pedigree and he's starting to get a feel for the league but we feel that guys like [Adam] Ballinger, [Chris] Goulding, Liam Rush, you could go on, those guys are going to hurt you. We'll have to watch him but we can't lose focus on their other strengths. Obviously with their size we will have to compete extremely well on the boards and we will certainly have to work hard to limit their opportunities in the paint.
''They've been knocking on the door in most games, so we can't pay too much attention to their win-loss record,'' he added.
The story Demos injury presents tough challenge to depleted Hawks first appeared on The Sydney Morning Herald.