In a major blow for the Bendigo Bank Spirit, star recruit Renae Camino is expected to miss at least the next two rounds of the WNBL through injury.
Camino’s torn calf, which kept her out of round one, was found to be worse than first feared after an MRI scan on Monday.
“Renae looks like she might be another two or three weeks yet,” Spirit coach Bernie Harrower said.
“It’s not a major tear, but it’s still bad enough to keep her out. It’s a little bit unfortunate, we were hoping to get her back by this weekend.”
Camino is unlikely to return before Bendigo hosts Dandenong in round four.
If she misses that match, she won’t make her Spirit debut until round six against Canberra on November 11, as Bendigo has a bye in round five.
“We’re hoping to have her in two weeks, but that will probably be the best case scenario,” Harrower said.
In more bad news for the Spirit, Hayley Munro is doubtful for this weekend’s tough double-header on the road against Bulleen and Dandenong through illness.
However, veteran guard Kristi Harrower will play, after her left hand injury was shown to only be bruising and not ligament damage.
“I don’t think there’s any doubt she will play, but she’s probably feeling the affects of that a little bit,” Harrower said.
“Kristi just did a little bit of light work (Tuesday) night, a bit of shooting and not really anything else. We certainly didn’t want to overload her this week.”
The Spirit trained for the final time last night ahead of meeting’s with last season’s grand finalists.
Harrower expects reigning premiers Dandenong to regain Jenna O’Hea for Saturday night’s match after the Australian Opal’s WNBA team, Los Angeles Sparks, was bundled out of play-offs on Monday.
“She’s on the team sheet, I’d say that if she’s back and feels like it they’ll play her. We’re planning around her playing,” Harrower said.
Bendigo faces Bulleen – and two-time club MVP Tess Madgen – tomorrow night.
Meanwhile, the Spirit is hopeful of signing an import with WNBA experience.
“We’ve spoken to about three or four.
“Hopefully, we’ll look at somebody that’s WNBA standard, the end of a bench of a WNBA team or something like that,” Harrower said.
“We need another big, there’s no question about that.”