New Zealand Breakers forward Finn Delany has taken the next step towards a return to the court.
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Delany has been on the sidelines dealing with a calf injury since just before Christmas, but is ramping up his rehab as he looks to return in time to finish out the season with his teammates.
“We’re just in the phases of getting back into running, changing directions and basketball-type movements,” Delany said of his recovery.
“Hopefully, I can have as much impact and help the team as much as I can in the last month of the regular season.”
The 28-year-old has only been able to watch his side’s past seven games, which have seen them follow a four-game winning streak with a three-game losing streak.
The three straight losses have the players looking internally for answers to their poor run of form as they look to turn their bad fortunes around when they take on Southeast Melbourne Phoenix on Saturday night at Spark Arena.
“The players have taken a large amount of ownership this year with things that haven’t gone right and have definitely met and done a lot of talking about how we want to rectify those things,” Delany said.
“I guess it’s just about holding each other accountable and players just wanting the best for the team.
“Losses, and sometimes it’s the tough ones that can really help a team, will move a team forward, and when you get smacked, a lot of guys take it personally, everyone takes it personally.
“So, that kind of elicits a response.”
The Breakers sit second-to-last on the NBL ladder but only three wins out of the playoff positions.
NBL rules make life easier for the Auckland franchise, with the play-in format brought in last season granting two extra teams a chance at the playoffs.
Delany is optimistic the team can turn these defeats into motivation and was hopeful he could help to provide another layer to their playoff push when he does make his impending return.
“The Breakers can still 100 per cent make the playoffs,” he said.
“This team has a very strong belief that we can, we’ve proven that we can be up there with the best teams in the league. We’ve shown that, we’ve proven that. It’s just about that consistently and finding a rhythm close to the best version of ourselves. If we can do that, then we can win every game.”
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