PERTH Wildcats forward Greg Hire is looking to return from his calf injury as fit as he has ever been.
Unable to take to the court, the pro basketballer has spent the majority of his time in the gym as he looks to recover.
Hire has put himself through a gruelling program involving three workouts a day.
He gave no doubts as to how hard he had been working.
‘I’m absolutely wrecked,’ he said. ‘I’m actually worse now, in terms of how I smash my body and make sure I stay in shape, than I am when I’m not injured.
‘It’s something I obviously need to do to make sure I come back at the full pace; it’s all worth it.’
Hire managed just the first game of the season before tearing his left calf muscle at training the following Monday.
The Wildcats have missed the vice-captain’s energy off the bench but remain in second place heading into four games in 10 days, beginning Friday at Perth Arena against Townsville.
The defending champions ground out a 68-59 win against Melbourne United at home on Sunday.
The side was buoyed by the performance of Hire’s replacement Mathiang Muo, who asserted himself with a flurry of 11 points and two rebounds in his best NBL effort.
Speaking to media after the game, Muo said it felt ‘really great to be out there’.
‘I hit the first three I made, I felt a little bit comfortable and just kept rolling after that,’ he said.
He said he was not thinking beyond his expected six-week fill-in period for Hire.
‘I’m not even focused about what’s going to happen after the six weeks’