An almost full-strength Cheshire Phoenix side should greet Worcester Wolves at the Northgate Arena on Sunday (5.30pm).
Both Chez Marks and Jerome Gumbs are expected to be available, although the effects of ‘flu have left a question mark over how fit Gumbs may be going into the BBL Championship game.
But for now head coach Matt Lloyd is just glad of the bodies, whether they can play 40 minutes or four after being without both last weekend after marks had to return to the States due to a family bereavement.
“Chez is back in today (Thursday) so we’ll have a good training session with him,” said Lloyd. “I’ve left him alone this week to spend time with his family at this difficult time for them. It’s one of those where you just have to give him his space and he’ll come back ready to go, he’s completely committed to the cause.
“Jerome was back coaching in the community on Wednesday so that was a positive. Hopefully we can have him fit for the weekend.
“His illness is going to have a massive effect on his fitness. Even though he might feel well and might feel 50% or 75% what you’ve got to do is take it back a notch.
Missing key personnel over the last few weeks has allowed Chris Pearce and Stuart Thomson to get more game time and take more responsibility and Lloyd believes that will stand the team in good stead as they push for the play-offs.
“I think it has benefited Stuart in terms of integrating him into the line-up,” said Lloyd. “He’s been able to give us some good minutes and good numbers.
“Chris has done a great job coming in, mainly on the defensive end but that’s what he does well and that’s what we use him for, he stops other players scoring.”
And despite the Wolves already holding two wins over the Nix, Paul James is taking nothing for granted.
“"Cheshire are almost a totally different team from when we last played them,” he said. “The got to the to semi final of the BBL Trophy so they have something about them.”