The Tasmania JackJumpers will not risk player welfare in a bid to return to the court after their upcoming games were hampered due to further COVID cases.
Tasmania's debut NBL season has been disrupted by COVID-19 after the franchise recorded double digits in positive cases.
The JackJumpers recorded 10 positive COVID-19 cases within the playing and coaching group after Rapid Antigen and PCR testing results were returned.
The quantity of cases would have the side unable to field a team under the minimum requirements (eight players) for a side against the Sydney Kings or South East Melbourne Phoenix.
As a result, the NBL announced they will postpone the Kings game (January 8) and the Phoenix game (January 10) in-line with league protocols.
The JackJumpers' home game against the New Zealand Breakers on January 14 is unaffected at this stage.
JackJumpers chief executive Simon Brookhouse said the franchise would monitor the players as they recovered from COVID in the lead up to the New Zealand game.
"Before we resume playing, we need to be sure there's medical clearance, that needs to be signed off and the reality of it is we won't know that until next Wednesday," he said.
"We're not going to put player welfare in any danger we're going to make sure they're fit and ready to go.
"The last thing we want is them to come back and get soft tissue injuries or any other injuries so we'll just need to monitor that."
The unfolding COVID situation is impacting across the league as teams adjust to the new reality of living with COVID.
Brookhouse revealed that at a chief executive meeting, the NBL indicated all rosters had COVID concerns.
"We're certainly not the only NBL team directly impacted by COVID cases and being adaptable to change is one of the challenges of elite sport especially in the current environment," Brookhouse said.
"I don't suspect this short break and recovery time will disrupt the boys too much.
"Everything is new in our very first season and so we are quite agile in our on and off-court operations".
The whole squad, coaching staff and strength and conditioning staff all got tested for COVID-19. The unaffected JackJumpers have been placed under the league's 72-hour protocol, which limits players to going out for essential items.
The situation follows JackJumpers players Will Magnay and Jock Perry being isolated due to positive test results.
Brookhouse said the two players were "fine" at the moment and following isolation protocols but it was "definitely not" the case that they spread COVID as they had not attended training since starting isolation.
The JackJumpers' chief said a hub for the NBL had yet to be discussed but games will be rescheduled at a later date with the league and clubs set to work out a new date.
"We're working with the league on that, its more likely to be in the near future than towards the end of the season but there's a lot to work through," Brookhouse said.
"We've got the buffer of going through the end of April and into May that's in line with the players' bargaining agreement, there was always some time in the fixture to be sure that we could replay games that are postponed."
The Breakers game on January 14 could be held as a New Zealand home game in Hobart as they look to recoup costs after not playing a home game for two seasons.
The JackJumpers are open to helping New Zealand and are in talks with the Breakers over the possibility but no final decision has been made yet.
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