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Irving set for surprise return to boost Wolves final hopes
10:32am Wednesday 12th March 2014 in Sport
KALIL Irving has made a miraculous recovery from a shoulder injury and could play a part in Worcester Wolves' British Basketball League Trophy semi-final second leg against Sheffield Sharks tonight (7.30pm).
The forward was expected to be out for a minimum of three weeks after dislocating the joint in the defeat to Newcastle Eagles on February 28, with director of basketball Paul James fearing he might not play again until the play-offs next month.
But Irving has surprised everyone at the club by resuming light training this week to put himself in contention to be involved in the University Arena clash.
"Kalil is making an unbelievable recovery," James said. "I'm yet to speak to the physios and powers-that-be about him but he was back to some light training on Monday which I couldn't believe.
"He could be involved. He's not suffering any pain in the shoulder so it may be that he plays a minute here and there so we can rest some of the players. If he is able to play any part that would be a great boost to the team.
"I've got to take my lead from our sports therapists to see whether he plays or not."
Wolves are looking to make the most of home advantage as they bid to capitalise on their 62-60 first-leg lead against the Sharks and book their place in the final in Glasgow later this month.
"It's very important to be in front of our home crowd for the second leg and we are certainly excited about it," James said.
"I think we've got all the players we want to be able to do it, we have got the talent and potential, we've just got to put it on the floor.
"I'm really thinking it could be our time but you've still got to go out there and perform. We can do all the talking we like but it's a matter of going out and getting the job done on the day. If the players focus and we come in with the right mindset we've got a great opportunity."
He continued: "In the past couple of seasons we have given ourselves so much ground to make up in these competitions that we haven't been able to do it.
"It was very important to keep this game close and, although it could have been more, and I would have wanted it to have been, at least we are going in with a slender advantage.
"With our home support behind us and Sheffield not having played at our venue yet, hopefully we will be able to jump on them early like we did in Sheffield and keep that concentration going for 40 minutes."
Swedish centre Andreas Schreiber remains on the sidelines with an ankle injury.
The weekly Paul James column, see page 46.
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