HomeBreaking NewsSwifts star’s secret injury battle

Swifts star’s secret injury battle


Wallace, 28, took to the court in the grand final after spending a week out of training, nursing a calf strain. She is set to pull off a similar feat for the season opener after missing the entire pre-season with a knee injury. The shooter said she wasn’t sure how she managed to pick up the tear in her left knee but suspected it was due to overload. “I have no idea where it started, last year I did much more running and change of direction than I would usually do, I do not know if it is just too much loading on the knee.” Watch Suncorp Super Netball on Kayo. Every game of every round LIVE. New to Kayo? Try 14-days free now >While Wallace’s knees might not have enjoyed the change in her style of play – the team and fans certainly benefited.Wallace had a 93 per cent shot accuracy in 2021 – netting 585 goals. The injury caused Wallace a great deal of pain – even simple movements caused the joint to swell and fill with fluid. So instead of joining the side in what would have been her sixth pre-season Wallace was put through a rigorous rehab program which included muscle strengthening, pool work and conditioning. “Rehab sucks, it is harder than training,” Wallace said.“It is hard even just sitting on the bench, I’ve never been out of netball for so long in my entire life.“I never want to get injured again.”Wallace has had just one full game on court this pre-season, a friendly against the Firebirds almost two weeks ago. “I played the full sixty minutes which was really good to get the nerves out,” she said. The combination of rehab and a cortisone injection means Wallace is fit and ready to go for a grand final rematch with Giants on Saturday night. “I’m confident, I know how to play netball, it is more of the fitness side, but I’m ready and eager and excited,” she said. “We haven’t played in front of a home crowd for two years, so bring on Saturday.”Swifts beat the Giants 63-55 in the grand final and Wallace said there was always pressure on the reigning champions to go back to back – especially as the only change to the squad is the introduction of Vixens wing defence Allie Smith. Wallace said her side had the skill and ability to take the title again but it would all come down to how they approached the season. “We just have to keep our composure and keep to the process and not worry about the outcome,” she said. “Each team will be hard to stop this year. It is just a matter of who can grind it out for 60 minutes. “The Thunderbirds and Vixens will be ones to watch this year from what I’ve seen this preseason, everyone will be hard to beat but I’ll be watching those two teams especially.” Swifts will play the Giants at Ken Rosewall Arena, Sydney, at 7pm on Saturday. GARBIN ON PATH TO BECOMING ‘WORLD’S BEST’Diamonds midcourter Paige Hadley has made a bold call on the trajectory of former NSW Swifts teammate Sophie Garbin’s career on the eve of the Super Netball season, predicting she will become “one of the world’s best goal shooters”.Hadley and Garbin have won two Super Netball premierships in the past three years playing alongside each other at the Swifts.And while she was “devastated” to lose the West Australian product to Collingwood in the off-season, she believes Garbin will thrive at the Magpies.The Swifts head into the season among the favourites for the title, although Hadley said there was not a weak team in the league after a fervid post-season trade period during which every player in the league was off contract.“Recruitment was very well done in the off-season,” Hadley said.“Obviously we lost Soph Garbin, who I think is going to be one of the world’s best goal shooters when she gets an opportunity – and I’m just I’m so excited for her.“I was devastated she’s not at the (Swifts) but as I said, I think every team has done really well and I think it just shows everyone’s even.“Everyone wants to get court time and people are willing to move now – move interstate – to get those opportunities.”Garbin sat behind international shooters Sam Wallace (Trinidad and Tobago) and Helen Housby (England) at the Swifts but is a likely starter at the Magpies and will certainly see more court time.It’s a boon for the 24-year-old, who made her Diamonds debut in last year’s Constellation Cup in New Zealand with a one-game cameo but underlined her improvement with a strong showing in the gold dress at the recent Quad Series in London.Garbin is a near-certainty to win a spot in Australia’s Commonwealth Games team and her switch to the Magpies means she is collecting inside knowledge as she goes, playing against international defenders – England’s Geva Mentor and Jamaica’s Jodie-Ann Ward – daily in training.The addition of Garbin and extra miles in the legs of Ash Brazill and Kelsey Browne, who both returned from ACL injuries last season, has undoubtedly raised the level of the Magpies in what is looking to be one of the most even competitions in history.“I think it’s going to be which team can navigate their line-ups and navigate other people’s lines,” Hadley said of who could dominate the competition this season.“Some teams play the same seven every week so it’s very predictable and other teams mix it up.“So yeah, it’s going to be an absolute challenge.”The Super Netball season kicks off this weekend, with the Magpies heading to Adelaide to take on the Thunderbirds, while the Swifts start their title defence with a grand final rematch against the Giants at Ken Rosewall Arena in Sydney.

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