AN INJURY blow to Ballarat Miners captain Shaun Bruce has deepened by denying him a chance to represent Australia on the international stage.
Ballarat Subaru Miners revealed this morning that new Australian Boomers head coach Andrej Lemanis - a former assistant at the Miners - invited Bruce to selection trials for the World University Games.
The news after the Miners revealed late yesterday that scans had confirmed a torn quadriceps would sideline Bruce for up to six weeks.
He will be out of action until the end of the Games in Kazan, Russia next month.
Bruce was among 16 emerging basketballers invited to try for the 12-man squad and his first chance at Australian representation.
He has maintained a positive outlook, despite the set-back.
"I'm definitely disappointed to be missing out on the opportunity," Bruce said.
"It is very exciting to get a chance at national representation - it's something I always wanted when
I was younger but I didn't get that opportunity as a junior.
"Everything happens for a reason and I'm sure I'll get another chance in the future."
Bruce suffered a corked thigh against Dandenong on June 1.
He took the knock early but played out the game, which Ballarat lost in double overtime.
Bruce was able to rest over the SEABL break for the Queen's Birthday long weekend, but substantial swelling and bruising meant he was forced sit out the Miners' doubleheader at the weekend.
It is a tough loss for the Miners, who will also miss guard Anthony Fisher while he is on Australian under-19 duty until mid next month.
Bruce, a rookie with National Basketball League club Cairns Taipans, is considering returning to Cairns in the hope the Taipans' medical resources will help get him back on court for the Miners sooner.
"It will not only offer me a full time physio but also a trainer that can monitor me each day and make sure I come back to the Miners with the best fitness level possible," Bruce said.
Bruce will be courtside as Ballarat takes on Kilsyth this Saturday at the Minerdome from 6pm.