The Wollongong Hawks will be missing a vital piece of the puzzle for the next few weeks after Kevin Tiggs underwent knee surgery on Wednesday.
Tiggs injured his right knee in last Saturday's 18-point road win over Sydney and has had a portion of torn meniscus removed.
Wollongong's second-leading scorer was on crutches yesterday and is out of Friday night's critical home game against the New Zealand Breakers.
He is also expected to miss the next two home games against Adelaide and Cairns.
"Kevin is a real asset to this team and we would rather have him on court than off, particularly with his recent form and as we hit the crunch time of the season," coach Gordie McLeod said.
"As a group, we've been working hard, and despite losing Kevin, our preparations for this weekend have been good."
The sixth-placed Hawks (9-13) must win to keep their play-off hopes alive.