Star Wildcats import Cotton rules himself out of NBL finals

Star Perth Wildcats import Bryce Cotton has officially ruled himself out for the rest of the NBL season, saying he is lucky just to escape permanent damage to his left leg.

Cotton was rushed in for emergency surgery on May 23 after suffering a haematoma to his left quadriceps.

He had played two days after suffering the injury, but was told to go to hospital when his leg swelled up and was immediately booked in for surgery.

The Wildcats initially held out brief hope Cotton could return during the NBL finals, but the two-time MVP said there was zero chance of that happening.

"It's over with. I don't even want to give fans false hope. I couldn't be out there even if I wanted to," Cotton said on Thursday.

(My daughter) is not even two years old and she's walking better than me. I'm still in the ginger stage where I can't do too much.

"If we do anything too quick, it can start bleeding and be basically back at ground zero."

Cotton revealed he was one day away from potentially suffering permanent damage.

"About 15 minutes after the MRI scan, they were saying we need to get you in for surgery right away," Cotton said.

"They were fearful my muscle could have just died. It was under so much pressure so it needed immediate relief.

"When I came out of the surgery, the doc said it was good we didn't wait an extra day because time was really of the essence. He just said it would have been permanent damage (leaving it longer)."

Cotton said he was "shocked" at the severity of the injury.

"I knew I was in a lot of pain, but I didn't realise it was that imminent to get surgery," he said.

"I'm used to playing with corks in my leg. I get usually one or two every game, so that was pretty normal playing the following game.

"But I remember watching TV and I just felt a funny twinge in my thigh and it had the sensation of a cramp because I couldn't move it at all.

"Once it lasted for about 30 minutes to an hour they said 'you need to go into hospital, this isn't normal'. I was in for a big surprise after that.

"It was very swollen throughout my entire thigh. It was hard as a rock."

The loss of Cotton is a huge blow to the second-placed Wildcats, who are aiming for a hat-trick of titles this season.

The Wildcats will be back in action on Friday night in a top-of-the-table clash with Melbourne United in Perth.