Wright slams Vukona over Deng rib injury

Majok Deng broke a rib in Adelaide's NBL defeat by Brisbane.
Majok Deng broke a rib in Adelaide's NBL defeat by Brisbane.

Adelaide 36ers coach Joey Wright has accused Brisbane enforcer Mika Vukona of breaking Majok Deng's rib during Saturday's disappointing 102-90 loss to the Bullets.

Deng rattled off eight points at 100 per cent, including two first-quarter three-pointers, before coming into contact with the 197cm, 103kg Vukona.

Deng, who stands at 208cm and weights 84kg, required treatment on his ribs at half-time before sitting out most of the third term and the entire final stanza.

When asked why Deng barely featured after half-time, Wright replied: "cracked rib."

Then when asked how it happened, Wright answered: "Mika Vukona."

The clash between Deng and Vukona, who was coached by Wright at the Gold Coast Blaze in 2009-10, went unnoticed by the three referees but the Sixers won't cite the burly Bullets forward.

"Three people didn't see it, so I didn't see it either," Wright said.

"He (Deng) took an injection at half-time but he's struggling."

Wright hopes Deng will be available for Thursday's clash with Perth but is less confident with Ramone Moore, who hurt his calf and was restricted to two points in 19 minutes in the defeat.

"I'm hoping he (Deng) will be," Wright said.

"Ramone's probably the bigger question. That's why he didn't play either.

"He was injured throughout the game as well."

The unavailability of Deng and Moore hurt the 36ers who, after leading by 12 points late in the third quarter, were smashed 37-14 thereafter.

Nathan Sobey, who leads the NBL in assists and ranks seventh in scoring, was well down against the Bullets, notching four points at 15 per cent and six turnovers.

Wright is confident his star guard will be back to his best against the Wildcats.

"It was just one of those games," he said.

"He's played some awesome basketball."Six turnovers is not typical of him but he'll bounce back."

Australian Associated Press