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Knight's return will aid Wildcats

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While the Perth Wildcats have been far from their championship-winning best at the start of this NBL season, they have managed a 2-1 start to their title defence.

And a potential catalyst for some major improvement is only a few weeks away from returning to the court.

Matt Knight, who brought down more than double the number of rebounds than any of his teammates last season, is yet to play one minute in this season.

He was second in the league in the Wildcats championship-winning year for offensive rebounds (3.03 per game behind only Townsville's Omar Samhan with 3.75) and fourth overall in total rebounds, with 7.88 per game.

He could be back on court before Perth hosts New Zealand again in round six.

The 203cm Knight was sidelined with a shoulder injury that he suffered in the weights room during the pre-season.

Even without him though, the Cats have won the battle of the boards in each of their three contests.

Their two wins, an overtime result against the Cairns Taipans and a two-point grand final rematch thriller against the Breakers, both at home, were highlighted by strong rebounding by several players in Knights' absence.

Newcomer Jameel McKay with 6.67 rebounds per game has been the most impressive.

Remembering they only lost two home games last season, those two close results could prove crucial to the Cats chances of going back-to-back.

But the Wildcats coach knows they must get better and that Knight will improve them.

"We gave up some offensive boards (against New Zealand) and it's something we have to get better at," Trevor Gleeson said.

"Hopefully Matty comes back soon and fixes that up for us."

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