Injury keeps Chris Goulding out of Melbourne United's NBL opener

Chris Goulding in action during Game 3 of he NBL Grand Final. Photo by Graham Denholm/Getty Images

Defending NBL champions Melbourne United will be without key man Chris Goulding for Sunday's season opener against Sydney.

The prolific scorer suffered a hamstring injury while training on Tuesday, scans revealing a minor issue that could keep him sidelined for the club's first two games.

The Tokyo bronze medallist is all but certain to miss the clash with the Kings, while he'll be given a chance to prove his fitness for Throwdown XIII against rivals South East Melbourne on December 12.

United are fresh off a 28-8 campaign that saw them finish on top of the ladder before going on to claim the title.

But they'll face a fresh challenge this season without finals MVP Jock Landale, versatile Mitch McCarron and key import Scotty Hopson.

Former NBA champion and Boomers favourite Matthew Dellavedova's arrival is the big off-season roster move though, while German talent Ariel Hukporti and Nigerian import Caleb Agada are also eye-catching additions.