Steel midcourter ruled out for season
A serious knee injury has ruled Ascot Park Hotel Southern Steel midcourter Dani Gray out of the remainder of the 2018 ANZ Premiership.
An MRI scan revealed Gray ruptured her ACL in the dying stages of Steel’s round four game against the Pulse in Porirua on May 30. Damage to the MCL, meniscus and cartilage was also discovered.
Despite the seriousness of the injury, a determined Gray has already embarked on her rehabilitation journey as she awaits surgery.
“I’m back in the gym and it just lifts your spirits so much to be back training with the Steel girls,” she said.
“When it first happened I was really, really gutted. I was just finding my confidence, getting the perfect amount of court time and really excited about the season.”
Raised in Levin, Gray was grateful to be close to family support when the injury occurred.
“As much as the situation itself was not great, at least it happened up there and I could head home to mum and dad’s and have a good cry when I needed to,” she said.
“Those days at home were really important. I could do all of the grieving so to speak up there and I’ve come back south now with a really positive outlook about the whole thing.
“I’ve had huge support – my phone just blew up with messages for the first few days. Now I’m just focused on staying as involved as I can with the team, supporting them and absorbing as much as I can because there’s a lot of knowledge there I can learn from.”
Coach Reinga Bloxham was confident Gray would continue to have an impact at the elite level of the game after her rehabilitation was complete.
“She’s already started back in the gym and is just the kind of person who’s very dedicated to her training and her sport,” she said.
“She’s in a really positive head space and keen to be involved as much as possible.”
The Steel has contracted Kendall McMinn and Kate Heffernan as replacement players for Sunday’s rematch against the Northern Stars in Christchurch, with defender Taneisha Fifita also set to join the squad for Monday’s game against the Mainland Tactix.