Grabau bolsters Taipans as Kiwis loom
RETURNING veteran Aaron Grabau will provide the Cairns Taipans with some much-needed depth as they prepare for the biggest test of their NBL season.
Grabau was back on full training duties yesterday as the Taipans prepared to host NBL champions New Zealand, and the shooter reported no lingering effects from the knee injury suffered in the season opener.
"There's still a bit of swelling, but I don't feel anything when I'm moving on it," he said. "I'm playing. (Taipans coach Aaron Fearne) hasn't said anything about it yet, but I'll be ready for whatever he wants me to do."
With Grabau sidelined for all but five minutes of the season's first six games, Taipans rookies Cam Gliddon and Clint Steindl have made the most of their opportunities.
The pair, along with eight-year vet Brad Hill, made a strong impression at shooting guard and small forward.
But Grabau, who is approaching his 400th NBL game, will be a welcome presence in the line-up as Fearne prepares for a seven-day stretch that sees his team host the NBL champions then travel to New South Wales to face its only undefeated team.
"We've got New Zealand and Wollongong coming up, so we've really got to show up," Grabau said. "The next two weeks will show us where we are at as a team."
Personally, Grabau will hope this return is more successful than his last one, which lasted just five minutes.
The round one win over the Crocs marked Grabau's return from a pre-season finger injury, but he only managed five points before pulling up injured.
"It's pretty s---," the 34-year-old said when asked about the injury-riddled start to his season. "People say it's about my age, but I don't think that's the case.
"It's things I can't avoid, but I'm making sure I'm doing everything possible to make sure I'm prepared to play."
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On board:veteran Aaron Grabau has returned from injury.