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Promising Steel midcourter Ali Wilshier has been ruled out of the remainder of the season due to a knee injury.
The 22-year-old tore her meniscus in round three and has been fiercely committed to her recovery since, finally getting back on court during the Steel’s win over the Magic in Dunedin on June 28.
However, it aggravated the injury and Wilshier has been forced to take the surgical route to rectify the first major setback of her career.
After the elation of earning her first ANZ Premiership contract, it has been a frustrating season for the talented wing attack.
"Pretty gutted about the knee — it’s not quite how I thought my rookie season would play out," Wilshier said.
"There were definitely a few tears when Reens [Steel physio Corina Ngatuere] sat me down and said my season was over."
The support received from her team-mates and the team management had been fantastic.
"I think it’s quite easy to lose touch and not feel part of the team when you’re injured but being surrounded by this group of girls, it’s hard not to keep smiling, and I still feel very much a part of the group.’’
Wilshier is scheduled to have the operation on August 17.
"It’s perfect timing, meaning I can stay down south and be with the team until the end of season and then fly up to Auckland to have surgery."
She plans to head home to Otorohanga to focus on intensive rehab during the off-season.
"Best-case scenario is that recovery is only a short four weeks or, if he has to repair my meniscus, it will be four to six months of recovery.’’