Injury fears for top Miner

BALLARAT Miners will learn the fate of star import Roy Booker on Monday morning.

Miners’ key playmaker Roy Booker hurt his Achilles tendon in the fourth quarter against Geelong.

Miners’ key playmaker Roy Booker hurt his Achilles tendon in the fourth quarter against Geelong.

Booker is set to undergo an MRI scan on an Achilles injury he sustained deep in the fourth quarter against Geelong Supercats at the MARS Minerdome on Saturday night.

It marks a tense wait for the GMHBA Miners on the experienced international, who has been highly touted throughout the competition as most valuable player material in his debut South East Australian Basketball League season.

Booker went to hospital in Ballarat directly from the game for X-rays, then consulted a specialist doctor in Melbourne on Sunday morning.

Miners coach David Flint, who spent time with his player at the hospital, said the most disappointing part of a two-point overtime loss to a competition benchmark was Booker’s injury.

Flint says the Miners were staying as positive as possible, until they knew for sure the extent of damage.

“We don’t know how long he’ll be out for. We’re in the (top) four with 11 games left but I want to wait things out with Roy before we decide what to do – we’re in limbo right now,” Flint said.

“It’s a shame because Roy’s such a great player, he’s so great with the young guys and he’s a great guy off the floor.

“We’ve just had a great ride with him so far this season.”

Flint said Booker had moved to push off and drive down the court when he fell.

Booker had been, and finished the game as, the Miners’ leading scorer with 29 points and five assists when he was helped off the court with two minutes and 30 seconds to play.

Scores were tied 85 apiece to send the game into overtime and the Miners were left without their key playmaker and high-pressure performer.

The Supercats also lost their leading scorer Mike Mercer early in the extra period in a similar manner to Booker. Mercer left the playing arena in a wheelchair.

Booker quickly caught the attention of SEABL rivals this season, averaging 28.6 points per game – twice chalking up 40-point games in the past month – and 6.9 assists per game.

The American was awarded the SEABL player of the month for May, helping the Miners’ tear apart competition, and has twice captured player of the week honours.

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