There are fears that Joe Ingles may have played his final NBA game for the Utah Jazz after suffering a serious knee injury against the Minnesota Timberwolves.
Scans have confirmed that the 34-year-old tore his ACL in his left knee and will require surgery which will force him out of the game for 12 months.
Ingles is off contract at the end of the current NBA season and Illawarra Hawks and Boomers coach Brian Goorjian has flirted with the idea of a possible return to the NBL.
“There’s no doubt in my mind that he’d come back,” Goorjian said on SEN 1170 Breakfast.
“He loves the competition, he loves Australia.
“I always had that feeling that at the end of his career, he would play a few (seasons) in the NBL.”
Ingles started his career in the NBL as an 18-year-old when he signed with the South Dragons. He won the NBL Rookie of the year in his debut season with the club.
In 2014, Ingles signed with the Jazz and has quickly become an integral member of the team and recently overpassed club legend John Stockton in three-pointers.
Despite his success in the NBA, Goorjian says that Ingles keeps a fixated eye on the NBL and often exchanges thoughts with his Boomers coach on the domestic competition.
“He follows it (the NBL),” Goorjian continued.
“He’ll send me a message… either give me a couple of boots on how many things I did wrong.
“Or he’ll give me a compliment that he really liked the game.
“Joe loves the NBL. I know that from being around him.”
Goorjian says that whilst an NBL return would be an incredible story, he believes that Ingles will do everything he can to continue his NBA career.
“The thing that got him to where he is, is how strong his mindset is,” Goorjian added.
“If he says I want two more (seasons) in the NBA and win a ring. Whatever he’ll put his mind to, he’ll do.
“I just want Joe to do what he wants to do.”