Chris Goulding has spent a bit of time of the bench of late.
Chris Goulding has spent a bit of time of the bench of late.

United’s rough start not helped by Goulding uncertainty

Chris Goulding will have his ankle scanned before he can be cleared to fly to the USA with his Melbourne United teammates to play in two exhibition games against two NBA clubs.

Coach Dean Vickerman is keen for his leader to travel on Thursday but said the trip to play the LA Clippers and Sacramento Kings must not jeopardise his long- term chances of playing in the NBL this season.

perth wilUnited resume their domestic commitments on October 20 with a rematch against the defending champion Perth Wildcats, who pipped them 94-93 on Saturday.

 

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Chris Goulding has spent a bit of time of the bench of late.
Chris Goulding has spent a bit of time of the bench of late.

Goulding didn't play in the agonising defeat at Perth Arena after failing a fitness test prior to tip-off.

He injured his ankle in his side's upset loss to the South East Melbourne Phoenix in the season-opener last Thursday.

Vickerman holds hopes for Goulding but has already ruled out Casey Prather (knee), David Barlow (thumb) and Sam McDaniel (foot) for the USA trip.

"Chris will be an interesting one," he said.

"We will assess it to see if he can get right to play in those games but we're not going to do anything with him that effects his ability to play in the NBL.

"If we have to wrap him up, then we have to wrap him up, but I think he'll be fine."

Goulding also missed United's last round of exhibition matches due to injury, so is understandably keen to play.

 

Dillon Stith gets over the top of Dario Hunt to keep United in the game against the Wildcats.
Dillon Stith gets over the top of Dario Hunt to keep United in the game against the Wildcats.

But the club will also take into account his recent workload with the national team at the World Cup in China.

With a 0-2 start to the season, United also need to weigh up how important Goulding is to building team chemistry.

"Offensively, we are still finding our rhythm with this group, we have six or seven guys who weren't on the team last year," Vickerman said.

Goulding is expected to be fit to play when United host Perth but Barlow and Prather are doubtful.