Jennifer O’Connell to miss rest of the season - July 16, 2020
Ascot Park Hotel Southern Steel shooter Jennifer O’Connell has been ruled out for the rest of the reason with a ruptured ACL and torn MCL in her left knee.
Scans this week confirmed the extent of the injury which she suffered late in the fourth quarter of her side’s Round 5 match against Central Pulse.
O’Connell will have surgery before beginning her road to recovery.
Head coach Reinga Bloxham said it was tough to see another talented player taken down with serious injury.
“I’m absolutely gutted for her and she’s been working incredibly hard, she was in a really good space and was improving with each game. it’s just a real bummer for her that this has happened now when she was on the upward spiral,” Bloxham said.
“The girls are extremely gutted for Jen and they all understand how much she was providing for our team. She’s left a big gap that we are going to have to try and fill, but we know that we are here to support her in whatever she needs.”
O’Connell said it was upsetting to be facing the rest of the year on the sidelines but doing her best to stay positive.
“I’m incredibly gutted that I am going to miss the rest of the season, but it is what it is and it’s not as bad as we originally thought so there are small positives.
“The plan going forward is to get surgery and then focus on getting back on court. I know it’s going to be a long time which is unfortunate but I’m going to work really hard to get back out there.”
It’s the second serious injury within the space of weeks for the Ascot Park Hotel Southern Steel, after fellow shooter Georgia Heffernan suffered a similar season-ending knee in Round 3.
The Steel will continue exploring options before confirming replacement players for both O’Connell and Heffernan.
Photo: Michael Bradley Photography