Kings not fazed by Xavier Cooks' injury troubles
Concerns about the fitness of NBL MVP Xavier Cooks haven't fazed the Sydney Kings ahead of Wednesday night's winner-take-all finale to the championship series.
Cooks, who will join the NBA's Washington Wizards at the end of the season, spent the second half of February recovering from an ankle injury and has battled a corked thigh throughout the five-game championship series against the New Zealand Breakers.
The injury restricted Cooks to only nine minutes in game two and after the Kings lost game four, coach Chase Buford said the forward was "not close" to full fitness.
All members of the Kings' squad were able to complete full training sessions on Tuesday ahead of the clash at Qudos Bank Arena.
But small forward Justin Simon said the Kings had resigned themselves to the reality that winning a championship series means playing through the pain.
"It's that time of the year," the American said.
"Everyone's banged up. We're all not 100 per cent.
"I really appreciate X and all the other guys playing through whatever they have going on.
"It's going to come down to who's the hungrier, healthier team."
Import guard Derrick Walton Jr. has had to contend with a quad injury in the championship series and played less than five minutes of game two.
That the Kings were able to close the game out on the road without Walton and Cooks has given them confidence for Wednesday night.
"We've got confidence in all our guys, everyone that's in uniform, in the suit on the sidelines," Simon said.
"We believe in everybody for whatever their job may be."
Guard Angus Glover has been playing alongside Cooks since high school and backed his friend to push through his injury on Wednesday.
"I know Xav pretty well, I know he's going to play regardless," he said.
"I know he's going to turn up for game five."