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Perth Wildcats star Mitch Norton ruled out of NBL game against Tasmania JackJumpers

Perth Wildcats vice-captain Mitch Norton has been ruled out of Monday’s game against Tasmania JackJumpers after suffering a blow to the face against South East Melbourne on Saturday night.

And the Wildcats will wait until just hours before the match to determine whether Vic Law will play after he hurt his ankle during the same game.

Norton was struck in the face by Mitch Creek with 90 seconds remaining in the match and appeared to be concerned about his left eye. But the Wildcats said he will miss the clash with the JackJumpers due to the protocols for head knocks.

Law was the team’s dominant player against the Phoenix but landed awkwardly in a contest during the final period and hobbled from the court in pain. He returned but is no guarantee to play on Monday.

Development players Mitch Clarke and Ollie Hayes-Brown have travelled with the team to Hobart.

Vic Law will be given as much time as possible to recover from an ankle injury.
Camera IconVic Law will be given as much time as possible to recover from an ankle injury. Credit: Darrian Traynor/Getty Images

Perth desperately need to win after losing four of their past five games. Injuries, illness and suspension have been a theme of the team’s season but centre Matt Hodgson showed promising signs against the Phoenix during his second game back from a two-match striking ban.

Foul trouble restricted him to only 16 minutes on court but he still had 10 points and seven rebounds. Hodgson’s effort also led to the Wildcats winning the rebound battle.

“Since coming to the organisation I don’t think I’ve been able to give my best yet,” Hodgson said.

“Through getting hurt, through COVID and obviously my own fault with the suspension. This was the first game I really felt like I was back in rhythm which was really good.

“I talk to my mental skills coach a lot during the season. At the start of the season I put a lot of pressure on myself coming to this organisation and I was probably too serious. That’s not really my personality to be like that.

“I was trying to be too focused and obviously you saw that spill over into frustration and things like that. I’ve just gone back to being myself and enjoying the game.

“I’m feeling confident in myself and letting things flow.”

Perth beat the JackJumpers by 18 points in the clubs’ only clash this season. That was in December before the Wildcats left to live interstate.

But the JackJumpers have improved dramatically in recent weeks to win five of their last seven game to move into sixth place on the ladder.

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