Steel midcourter Wilshier ruled out with knee injury - July 18, 2021
Promising young midcourter Ali Wilshier has been ruled out of the remainder of the Ascot Park Hotel Southern Steel 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 earning a stint back on court during Steel’s round 11 win over Splice Construction Magic in Dunedin on June 28.
However, it aggravated the injury further and Wilshier has now 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 teammates 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. They’ve been awesome and so supportive.”
Wilshier met with her surgeon last week and 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 the intensive rehab needed during the off season.
“Recovery wise it’s a bit a grey area until I’m in surgery and the surgeon can have a look at the extent of my tear and if I have done any further damage since my last MRI,” she said.
“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.
“Injuries are always a hard one but you have to accept that it comes with the job so I’m just trying to take it on chin and stay positive. Then once surgery is done, it’s time to smash the rehab so I’m ready to go for the 2022 season.”
Steel head coach Reinga Bloxham said Wilshier had impressed with her dedicated approach to the initial rehabilitation.
“It’s a shame as she had worked extremely hard to get herself back onto the court. She trained and followed her rehab programme but unfortunately hurting it again was something we knew may happen,” she said.
“She has not travelled with the team this week but continues to be a vital member of our environment and we have given her a role while she is sidelined to check statistics and assist our manager so it’s great to have her involved in a different capacity.”