Basketball: Bell rescued by giant kangaroo

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The Independent Online
A 6ft tall kangaroo hopped to the rescue at the National Indoor Arena, when he was first to react to a severe injury to Chester Jets' American, Sean Bell, during their 102-93 victory over Birmingham, the Bullets' first Budweiser League defeat of the season, on Saturday night.

Jets' physio, Alison Troughton, fearing the 6ft 5in guard might have broken his knee, shouted: "We need help, get a doctor." Mr Roo, the Bullets mascot who keeps his identity a secret, bounded across the arena and into the crowd to find the club physician.

"Alison realised how bad the injury was, but I was being pressured by the refs to make a substitution and get on with the game," said the Chester coach, Mike Burton. "Suddenly this huge kangaroo appeared at the sideline, quickly realised Sean needed help and rushed off to find the doctor."

Bell was taken on a stretcher to the dressing-room, where his dislocated knee was put back into joint. His injury, after just 22 minutes, made Chester's win all the more remarkable as they were already without the American Brian Lloyd, who has a fractured ankle, while the 6ft 8in Ricardo Leonard may learn this week if he needs knee surgery.

Jonathan Stone and Jason Swain, with 22 points each, and veteran Dave Gardner with 19, were at the heart of Chester's response to adversity. "All three played their best games of the season," Burton said.