South East Melbourne coach Simon Mitchell fears Ryan Broekhoff's NBL season may be over after the ex-NBA swingman went down injured in the 112-91 win over Perth Wildcats that keeps the Phoenix's finals hopes alive.
Broekhoff appeared emotional during a timeout in the fourth quarter in Melbourne on Sunday as he told Mitchell he had tweaked his groin.
The former Dallas Maverick had enjoyed his best game of the season with 26 points but played no further part and was consoled by his teammates at courtside.
Broekhoff, whose season ended early last year with a shoulder complaint, was up and about at the end of the game with ice on his injury. He will undergo scans on Monday.
"I'm not expecting great results," Mitchell said post-match.
"It's horrible. The guy just can't take a trick but it's professional sport. We're just hoping for the best and hopefully it's not too bad.
"If history has given us a lesson then it's probably not going to be good news for us or 'Rowdy' (Broekhoff)."
The Phoenix came into Sunday's game seventh on the ladder with only one win to their name since Christmas and could all but kiss finals goodbye if they lost - particularly given tough games ahead with Cairns and Sydney.
But the hosts led from the outset at the State Basketball Centre, starting with a 12-3 run that featured two Broekhoff triples in quick succession.
While the Wildcats came within one point on three occasions later in the game, they never took the lead as the desperate Phoenix had the better of an offence-driven game.
Broekhoff had six triples from nine attempts in the first half, going into the main change with 22 points, more than he has scored in a full game all season.
He cooled off as the contest went on but the Phoenix had other avenues to basket.
Big man Alan Williams (27 points, 14 rebounds, six assists) was a threat in the paint as the Phoenix kicked their habit of dropping off in second quarters.
Bryce Cotton was the Wildcats' best with 25 points and four assists but the only man who can rival Cotton for scoring this season, Phoenix star Mitch Creek (20 points, six assists, eight rebounds), took control late to ensure a comfortable win.
The Wildcats had come off a short turnaround, having beaten the Sydney Kings at home on Friday, and a flight cancellation meant they did not arrive in Melbourne until after midnight on the night before the game.
"Those (situations) can go one of two ways, you can come out with great energy and spirit and play really well," said coach John Rillie.
"We just couldn't get over the hump tonight."