Devastating news for injured Steel shooter - February 9, 2023
The Ascot Park Hotel Southern Steel’s international shooting star George Fisher has been ruled out of the 2023 netball season with a serious knee injury.
Medical imaging has revealed Fisher suffered a rupture to her ACL and an associated fracture during the Steel’s preseason encounter with the NSW Swifts in Invercargill on Sunday.
It was a devastating blow for Fisher who had her sights set on ANZ Premiership glory and potentially a World Cup campaign with the England Roses later this year.
“It’s very tough news. It is going to be hard but I’m just taking it one day at a time and seeing how my body deals with everything,” Fisher said.
“This is my first major injury – I have had little niggles here and there but nothing like this. The reality is when you play sport you always know that injury is a very present risk.
“Right now my main focus is just walking again! I will be setting small goals along the line that are maintainable and achievable.”
Fisher was confident her Steel teammates would deliver strong results.
“I have full faith in my team and know they will be amazing. I’m just gutted I won’t be able to play alongside of them this year. Unfortunately for them I’ll still be there cheering along,” she said.
“I have an amazing support team here with the girls and my family at home in England are always calling to chat. My partner (Southland Sharks basketballer Brayden Inger) has also been a huge help with running around after me and quite literally carrying me around.”
Head coach Reinga Bloxham said the team was hurting for Fisher.
“Her teammates can feel her loss. I think when George went down their season flashed before their eyes because they could see the potential we’ve been putting out on court as a team,” she said.
“I’m really gutted for George because one of her goals was to do the whole preseason with the team for the first time and be as fit and prepared as possible for round one. She’s been working really hard and making good gains.
“In some ways it does seem harder to accept at this stage of the season because you’re just getting started. On the flip side of that, from a timing perspective she has a whole year to recover for next season.”
The franchise will now start the hunt for a replacement shooter.
“It’s always a net that we cast wide. We’ve got options locally and nationally and we’re going to make sure we do our homework around that,” Bloxham said.
“We know who is coming through our own pathways in the south and it was great to see our training partner Jess Allan definitely put her hand up at the weekend and said ‘hey, here I am’.
“We’ve still got the rest of the preseason to integrate a replacement into the team and we will be working hard to do that over the next few weeks.”
Steel chief executive Sonya Fleming said the franchise was focused on supporting Fisher during this challenging time.
“George is an integral part of our team and brings so much personality, always positively supporting those around her. Now it’s our turn to ensure she has everything she needs as she embarks on her road to recovery,” she said.
“Naturally we are all feeling for George as she comprehends the realities of a major injury and we are all by her side on this journey.”