Injury blow for Steel’s Jamaican defender
A devastating injury has ruled Ascot Park Hotel Southern Steel defender Malysha Kelly out for the 2018 netball season.
Steel physiotherapist Corina Ngatuere said an MRI scan confirmed Kelly has ruptured the ACL in her left knee.
“We pride ourselves on having low injury rates and doing all we can to prevent injuries but unfortunately the nature of this game, with the change in direction, jumping and landing and abrupt stopping, means accidents do happen,” she said.
“Our priority now is putting a lot of support around Malysha. Pathways have already been established with regard to an orthopaedic surgeon and it will be up to Malysha to decide what she wants to do.”
Faced with the reality of missing both Steel’s ANZ Premiership campaign and the 2018 Commonwealth Games with her beloved Jamaican Sunshine Girls, Kelly was understandably “devastated”.
“It’s mind-blowing that it’s actually this serious. I’ve been in denial and still thinking maybe it’s not the ACL. I was hoping the MRI would discover something else,” she said.
“I’ve always heard about players doing their ACL – it’s one of the worst injuries a netballer can get, especially a defender. You don’t think about it when you’re on the court but it does happen.”
Kelly was snatching a trademark intercept at training on Tuesday night when she suffered the rupture.
“I’ve never had something like that happen so it definitely scared me,” she said.
“I was in a lot of pain so I wasn’t thinking about how bad the injury could be. Then Corina did some initial assessments and I passed them all for ACL – it’s not the kind of pass that I wanted.”
Making the phone call to alert Jamaican coach Sasher Henry was extremely difficult.
“I just feel like there’s a lot of people that I’m letting down here and back home,” Kelly said.
“Home feels further away now, more so than before.”
Eager to continue playing the sport she loves, Kelly planned to take time to access her surgical options.
“It’s a very hard decision because whatever decision I make will affect my future in the game.”
Steel coach Reinga Bloxham said the team was “gutted”.
“Mally was slotting into our environment nice and easily, she was working really hard and was open to learning our style of play so we are absolutely gutted it has to end for her,” she said.
“We’re here to support her and make sure we can do whatever we need to get her back out on court in the future.”
The franchise would not rush the replacement process.
“We will need to eventually source a replacement and make sure it’s the right defender to come into our team – someone who brings the same work ethic and commitment as Malysha has. It’s a process we will give serious consideration to and access all the options,” Bloxham said.