TCS Chester Jets' hopes of pulling off a record fourth successive BBL Trophy Final victory tomorrow have taken a big knock this week
Three players have been under intensive treatment for ankle injuries since Sunday's win over Sheffield Sharks, and Calvin Davis is struggling to recover in time for the game against BBL leaders Brighton Bears at the Hallam FM Arena in Sheffield.
'Calvin is our biggest worry,' said coach Paul Smith. 'But he wants to play and that's half the battle. He won't train and will be under treat ment until the last minute.
'His ankle is still swollen and if he isn't fit for the Trophy, I can't see him making it for our league game at Milton Keynes on Sunday.
'It'll be a big blow if he doesn't make it, because we lost by more than 20 to them with Calvin missing a few weeks ago. You can't go into a game against Brighton without your best rebounder. It's going to be tough anyway, but this has made it a little bit tougher. These things happen, we'll just have to try and find the strength to overcome it.'
But the good news is that James Hamilton and John McCord are expected to pass fitness tests, although they will need treatment until the last minute.
Brighton also have problems with captain Randy Duck unlikely to be risked, although he made a brief comeback from injury last weekend.
While the Jets head into the game trying to become the first team in BBL Trophy history to win the competition in four consecutive seasons, Brighton are bid-ding to lift the prize for the first time a couple of weeks after nudging Sheffield Sharks off top spot in the race for the league title.
Added Smith: 'I think this will be the first time we have been underdogs in a Trophy final and that might fire the players up even more.
'It would be disappointing not to have our best team out but, often, adversity makes the rest of the team tighter.'
Merseysider Richard Murphy made a rare first-quarter appearance for the Jets on Sunday and even if Davis plays some part in the game, he will almost certainly get several minutes in Sheffield.
'Brighton will be warm favourites but we have some big-game players in our team who can rise to the occasion,' said Smith.
The Final tips off at 6pm.Tickets are on sale by calling 0845 345 7890 or online at www.bbl.org.uk. Prices are £16 and £11 for adults, while child tickets are available for £11 and £8.