Souness ready to fire after major injury
It’s been a tough 12 months for Whitney Souness, but she can see bright light at the end of the tunnel.
The Porirua netballer ruptured the anterior cruciate ligament in her right knee during the national netball championships in October last year.
It ruined Souness’ chances of playing any part in the Central Pulse’s 2016 ANZ Championship campaign, the last before Australia withdrew to set up their own national league.
New Zealand’s new competition, the ANZ Netball Elite League, will see Souness have a role as part of a promising midcourt group for the Pulse, which includes Claire Kersten, Sheridan Bignall and Englishwoman Sara Bayman.
The 21-year-old Souness said the serious knee injury was a blow so early in her professional career, but outstanding support from friends, family and the Pulse organisation made her recovery easier.
‘‘I’ve known what I’ve had to do each step of the way and the support from people around me has made the load less heavier,’’ she said.
Half of her rehab time has been spent at the ASB Centre in Wellington and the rest in Porirua.
‘‘Only a few weeks after the surgery I was able to start training and I definitely favoured the knee for a while - it took a while before I wasn’t thinking about it. I played club netball in July and it came through well, so I’m really looking forward to getting out there for the Pulse in 2017. I’m working on my fitness every day.’’
It wasn’t all smooth sailing, however, with complications not long after surgery on November 27 last year.
‘‘I couldn’t move my leg at one point. We thought it might be a blood clot, but I got it moving, which was a relief.’’
A full Pulse squad get-together will happen shortly and preseason begins in January.
Souness said there would be new faces to bond with in the Pulse, along with the experience of Katrina Grant, Phoenix Karaka, Te Amo Amaru-Tibble and Cathrine Tuivaiti (formerly Latu) to lead the way.
She said it was hard to gauge what New Zealand’s new-look professional league would be like.
‘‘I’m not really sure what to expect, but I think it will provide opportunities for younger players. I just have to take mine.’’
Netballer Whitney Souness in action for Wellington last year, just days before her bad knee injury.