INJURED Warrnambool guard Damian Gray has pencilled in the Seahawks’ final home game in three weeks’ time as his return game.
The in-form teenager said he would travel with the Big V team for its next two matches — away games against Altona and Sunbury — after injuring his calf at training last week, before suiting up for the Seahawks’ clash against Southern Peninsula Sharks at the Arc on July 17.
Gray, 19, said it was important he gave the soft-tissue injury, which ruled him out of Warrnambool’s two-point loss to Mildura at the weekend, ample time to heal as the club surged towards a division one finals berth.
“I was jogging down the court and heard a pop,” he said.
“I am frustrated I am missing games but I think we’ll take a cautious approach with the next few games going into finals.”
Gray said he was enjoying a solid season before injury struck.
The reigning Seahawks’ most valuable player has further entrenched himself as a key player, backing up his breakout 2013 campaign.
Gray had started most games in the point guard role, averaging 24 minutes’ court time across his 13 matches.
His 6.5 points, 4.8 rebounds and 3.4 assists a game has helped the Seahawks to a 10-4 win/loss record in the race to the finals. Gray downplayed his role instead, emphasising the Seahawks’ team-first approach.
“It is a good feeling (to be getting big minutes) but I am grateful for the time I get and am trying to help the team,” he said.
“We go deep and everyone could start and the coaches have a good system and we all believe in it.
“Everyone is working well together and there is a positive feeling around the team and the volunteers we have are good at getting us on the court.”
Gray said it was frustrating to watch as the Seahawks dropped their first home game of the season on Saturday night.
But he said War-rnambool would take confidence out of the 81-79 loss.
“Both teams were going hard at it and it was a good effort from both teams,” he said. “If we played like that against anyone else, we would have probably won.”
Warrnambool has a chance to respond against Altona on Saturday night.
The Seahawks recorded an 11-point win over the Gators at the Arc in round three.
Gray said the Seahawks’ best was good enough to topple the Gators for a second time this season.
“They are a fast team and like to shoot three-pointers so we have to play defensively well, otherwise they will blow us away, but I am confident we can get a win on the road,” he said.