Brooks injury dents Guangdong's title hopes

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Marshon Brooks of Guangdong Southern Tigers reacts during the 31st round match between Guangdong Southern Tigers and Tianjin Pioneers at the 2020-2021 season of the Chinese Basketball Association (CBA) league in Zhuji, east China's Zhejiang Province, Jan. 17, 2021. (Xinhua/Pan Yulong)

CBA club Guangdong Southern Tigers were dealt a big blow in title defense as their leading scorer Marshon Brooks ruptured his Achilles tendon in Monday's game against the Zhejiang Golden Bulls and will be sidelined for the rest of the season.

"Brooks was confirmed to have sustained an Achilles tendon rupture, and he will miss remaining matches this season," the club announced on its social media page late on Monday.

With Guangdong trailing 93-85 late in the third quarter, Brooks suddenly limped in a non-contact situation when dribbling before directly hopping off the court. He scored 16 points when finishing the game earlier than expected.

Guangdong completed a 125-119 comeback and snapped Zhejiang's 10-game winning steak.

"We will offer our best medical service to Brooks. Pray for him for a speedy recovery," the Southern Tigers said in the statement, also assuring fans that they will work hard in every game.

"Very tough time for me. I've worked my entire life to get to this point. I feel like I was the best player I've ever been this season due to hard work and dedication, but this is indeed a part of life. I can't feel sorry for myself during this time. I must keep my head up and attack the recovery process as soon as I can," Brooks wrote on Chinese twitter-like Sina Weibo.

Brooks averaged 27.3 points, 4.3 rebounds, 4.1 assists and 1.4 steals in 46 appearances this season. His injury has cast another shadow on Guangdong's title defense campaign, as the team is still waiting for star center Yi Jianlian's return.

Yi also ruptured his Achilles tendon in the third match of last season's Finals, when Guangdong beat the Liaoning Flying Leopards and claimed their 10th CBA championship in the franchise's history.

Riding on a seven-game winning streak, Guangdong leads the 19-team standings with a 43-5 record. 

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