Demos return adds starch to Hawks 'D'

BASKETBALL

Wollongong's best on-ball defender will make a timely comeback from a two-game absence in tomorrow night's home clash with the Melbourne Tigers.

Hawks guard Tyson Demos has overcome a potentially dangerous leg infection and been given the thumbs-up to resume playing.

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"I saw the doc yesterday and he gave me the all-clear to start training," Demos said.

"I did some stuff by myself [on Thursday] and it pulled up good, and I did another light shooting session today.

"We'll have training [today] and if I get through that, then I'm all clear to play Sunday."

Demos expected to be in hospital only for a few days and didn't think he would miss any games.

But he stayed for almost a week after the initial dose of antibiotics had no effect.

Consequently, the 25-year-old former Illawarra junior rep was forced out of last Sunday's 79-77 home loss to Cairns and Thursday's 106-101 road loss to New Zealand Breakers.

"It's coming along pretty well. It's improved a lot over the last four days," he said.

"It was frustrating at the time and also a bit scary. I'd heard a few different things that it's very dangerous, that it can't be taken lightly because it can spread pretty quickly.

"I'm glad I got on top of it when I did and took the time off. It's pretty tough sitting on the sidelines watching the boys lose, but hopefully I'm back for Sunday and I can contribute a little bit, and hopefully we get the win."

Demos's return will strengthen Wollongong's defence for the crucial battle with the Tigers.

After giving up a whopping 106 points to the Breakers, the Hawks have to take a renewed focus on defence into tomorrow's game.

"We played well offensively, but defensively there was a few breakdowns and we weren't really containing our man," Demos said.

"They shot the ball well but they got a lot of open shots."

Wollongong (6-11) slipped to seventh with the loss and will more than likely have to win at least seven of their final 11 games to qualify for the semi-finals.

"It's a pretty tough ask, but we have to make the most of the home games coming up," Demos said.

"We're just going to take it game by game and hopefully string a few wins together. It's going to stay close like it's been all year. Every game is important.

"One of the things all year with us is that we've had trouble finishing off games. We come down to the last four minutes and we've been up a few or it's close, and we haven't been able to finish games.

Tip-off tomorrow is at 5.30 and plenty of tickets to the game are available.

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