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Fisher ruled out of 2024 ANZ Premiership

Fisher ruled out of 2024 ANZ Premiership

The Ascot Park Hotel Southern Steel has been dealt a blow with international shooter George Fisher ruled out of the ANZ Premiership season.

The powerhouse shooter has not yet fully recovered from a knee injury which occurred during last year’s preseason. Despite the best efforts of Fisher and her medical teams in both New Zealand and England, unexpected setbacks have hindered her recent progress.

For Fisher, it was heart-breaking news.

“It's something that's really hard to process and try and get your head round. I’m just trying to take everything day-by-day at the moment and work on what I can work on which is my rehab,” she said.

“Sometimes it's harder, knowing that you tried everything when it comes to recovery and rehab and your body just sometimes feels like it's failing you which is a strange process, but one I'm still working through.

“I'm hoping to arrive back in New Zealand in a couple of weeks and I'm super excited to see the team. I've been missing them loads and really miss being in the environment. I feel like my role this year will be very similar to last year, just helping out in whatever way I can and supporting the team.”

Steel chief executive Sonya Fleming said Fisher had the unwavering support of all involved at the franchise as she navigates this challenge to her rehabilitation momentum.

“George was tracking so well and excited about the prospect of being back on court for Steel in 2024. Our team and management are all absolutely gutted for her and naturally really feel for their teammate,” she said.

“Prioritising George’s health and well-being is paramount and it’s essential we take the necessary steps now to ensure a strong recovery for her future in the sport.

“Our entire franchise is 100 percent behind George and supporting her through this rehabilitation to get her back on court. She has had, and will continue to have, the best medical care, including a consolidated period of intensive rehab now underway in England before she returns to Invercargill.”

Fisher will continue with the franchise, albeit in an alternative role off the court.

“You can bet she will be our shooters’ biggest support and mentor and will play an important part in our home games interacting with our amazing fans, along with supporting the community space of our sport,” Fleming said.

Shooter Jennifer O’Connell, a member of the 2017 and 2018 premiership-winning teams, was recruited in January to prepare for this scenario.

“It is fantastic to have a local player of Jen’s calibre available to step up as such a crucial member of the team. We appreciate her enthusiastic approach and are eagerly anticipating her return to netball’s elite ranks,” Fleming said.