Akil Mitchell flew home on Tuesday, but did so with a heavy heart as he leaves a club that has welcomed him into their family, with fans that have shown the American power forward great love and affection during these past difficult weeks since the injury suffered against Cairns.
Truth is though he was already a crowd favourite and very much in the hearts of #BreakerNation.
Following on from his departure, he spoke to those fans about his time here and the reason for his early departure home to the States.
“Breaker Nation, thank you all so much for everything you have given me throughout this season, for all the love and support dealing with the injury and even without the injury, just being here and being part of the Breakers family has meant a whole lot to me and I just want to say thank you and hope to see you all sometime down the road.
“I think there has been a little less progress than I would have hoped at this point and talking to my agent and my family, wanting the best for my health long term, if it was an ankle or a knee I would have stayed and tried to play through, but it is my vision and something I need to take seriously and get seen to.
“It has been a bit painful and I travelled to Adelaide and sat on the bench and even in that game some of the light and yelling kind of made it ache a bit too much and that was enough for my agent and my family to say it’s time to come home.
“I practiced last week and there were times when I felt good and sometimes when it felt painful, I think going to see the specialist I really hope it is more of the same and they say this is normal and that given what happened it’s probably normal to feel this way but I think it will be peace of mind to hear it from someone I know and trust that everything is okay.
“There’s a good chance if the boys take care of business and we are in it like we should be then I’ll be back, and I know they can get the win on Friday for sure.
“I’ve loved being here, the people, the fans, the team, everything has been amazing, I couldn’t have asked for a better season, winning a bit more would have made it even better but the guys have been amazing. I wish I could have seen it out but I got overridden by my support crew and everyone back at home. This team has become like a family to me and they mean a lot to me
“I wouldn’t mind coming back and hopefully the team wouldn’t mind having me back.”