TCS CHESTER Jets coach Paul Smith is prepared to sacrifice this weekend's BBL games to get his injury-ravaged squad back to full fitness in time for the Championship play-offs.
Nearly all the club's professionals have been carrying injuries over the past month, seriously depleting his squad, and culminating in a 50-point defeat to Brighton Bears last Sunday.
Ryan Huntley had to sit out both last weekend's games with an ankle injury and John McCord and Calvin Davis have both struggled through matches despite carrying similar injuries and all three missed training this week.
Jets have to go to title contenders Sheffield Sharks tomorrow and are at home to Newcastle Eagles on Sunday (5.30), but it's almost certain they will continue to rest Huntley and, possibly, Davis.
Smith said: 'Ryan has a similar injury to Calvin in that a lot of the muscles and tendons around his tibia have gone pretty sore, so he can't really come down on it.
'Calvin played a lot of minutes at the weekend, probably more than we wanted him to, but we're not sure what to do with them to be honest.
'It's a bit of a dilemma for us.
'It is important to us to put the most competitive team out on the floor each time we play for the fans, but I'm also aware that my main priority is to have a full team come April 18 when the play-offs take place.
'I'm going to sit down with Mike Burton (assistant coach) and the play-ers to decide what we are going to do with Ryan and Calvin because it might be better to rest them this weekend.'
While he confesses that could hurt their chances of a home play-off berth, he reckons it might actually boost their play-off potential.
'Defeat would make a severe dent in the bid for a home berth that's for sure,' he added. 'But if you ask me if I wanted to be at home in the play-offs with four fit players or away fully-fit, then I'd take the latter.
'With a fully-fit team I think we can make a really good run in the play-offs wherever we play, with four I think we'd struggle even if every game was at home.'
Jets' injury worries have given an unexpected break to Liverpool student Richard Murphy who has figured in all their recent matches.
'Murph is the best three-point shooter in the club and he has taken his chance really well,' said Smith. 'We have needed him recently and he has stepped up for us. I am really pleased with him.'