Chris Hunter, the 6-foot-11 center who missed all but seven games last season with the Mad Ants, is expected to be back in the lineup tonight when the Ants play at Erie, Pa.
Hunter has been out all this time rehabbing and nursing a torn Achilles tendon that he suffered on Christmas night last season. Even though he was still in the process of getting back into shape, he was called up by the New York Knicks to participate in their preseason training camp.
Now that he's been released and has returned to the Ants (and has gotten the clearance to play), Hunter could be the key to the best team the Ants have had in this, their fifth season.
With Hunter in the middle, that would free up 6-9 Darnell Lazare to play his natural power forward position, rather than in the middle, where he spent most of last season.
Hunter and Lazare, who was released by the Indiana Pacers, aren't the only old faces returning. Sean Sonderleiter, the 6-10 forward who played with the Ants two seasons ago, is expected to be in the lineup tonight.
Sonderleiter played in Germany last season.
All five of the Ants potential starters - Hunter, Lazare, small forward Cam Jones, shooting guard Ron Howard and point guard Walker Russell Jr. - were in NBA camps. Jones was with Miami, Howard was with Milwaukee and Russell was with Detroit.
The Ants will play two games at home later this week. They'll face Los Angeles on Friday and play Canton on New Year's Day.