KALIL Irving could miss the rest of Worcester Wolves' regular season with his shoulder injury.
The 22-year-old forward dislocated the joint when he crashed into the base of the basketball stand making a defensive block during last Friday's 86-78 defeat to Newcastle Eagles at the University Arena.
He will be out of action for a minimum of three weeks but director of basketball Paul James is not expecting him to be back to full strength until the play-offs later next month.
By that point, James, named coach of the month for February, will be hoping league leaders Worcester will have secured their maiden British Basketball League title.
But it means Irving will miss both legs of the BBL Trophy semi-final against Sheffield Sharks, tomorrow and next Wednesday, and potentially key Championship home games against Sheffield and Plymouth Raiders later this month.
Centre Andreas Schreiber is also struggling with an ankle problem that kept him out of the Eagles match.
"Kalil looks like he's going to be out for at least three weeks," James said. "We don't think he's going to need surgery but we're looking at three weeks before he does anything.
"It is unfortunate but these things happen and we have to give him the best treatment we possibly can and hopefully we can get him back for the play-offs.
"In my mind I am preparing myself for the play-offs, it might be sooner but certainly it's going to be a while."
James added: "Kalil brought a lot of things to the team without people really knowing. Defensively I could put him to guard two or three different players and his offence was getting better.
"Somebody's got to step up to bring that part of his game to our game now. It will mean more opportunities for Jamal and Kai Williams, Daniel Belgrave and Stefan Djukic.
"It's a chance to show what they can or could have been doing so hopefully those people will really step up to the plate. If all those guys step up we'll be fine."
Schreiber missed last month's Trophy success at Newcastle and the Championship victory at Birmingham Knights through illness but now has an ankle problem.
It is unclear whether the 6ft 10ins Swedish international centre will be fit to face the Sharks at the English Institute of Sport tomorrow.