GREEN WITH ENVY

Kim­ber­lee’s painful wait is over after one tough year

The Sunday Telegraph (Sydney) - - SPORT - AMANDA LULHAM

FOR­MER Di­a­mond Kim­ber­lee Green will make her long-awaited Su­per Net­ball re­turn against a team it hurt her to watch last year.

The stal­wart will play her first game of Su­per Net­ball in al­most a year at Qu­dos Bank Arena when the Gi­ants line up against Sun­shine Light­ning in a re­match of last year’s grand fi­nal next Sun­day.

The mid­courter had a “dif­fi­cult” re­ha­bil­i­ta­tion from an­kle surgery.

But the worst part was sit­ting on the bench dur­ing the grand fi­nal.

“It (in­jury lay-off) taught me a lot,’’ Green said. “I think, be­cause it hap­pened in round five and we were just get­ting into it, it was even harder.

“By the time we got to the fi­nals, I just wanted to play and the emo­tions got high.

“I was pretty dev­as­tated. I found it re­ally hard to watch. I was quite emo­tional.”

Green, who said she has been “smash­ing” fit­ness and strength tests, is just a week away from her re­turn to a game she never con­sid­ered quit­ting de­spite a tough road back.

“Ev­ery­thing gets pulled apart,’’ she said. “I felt like a fail­ure some times.

“But now I have never felt so strong and pow­er­ful be­fore.

“I’ve been able to pull apart things like the way I land, take off, ev­ery­thing has been ripped to shreds as we built the mus­cles around it (achilles in­jury).”

Green said while she was frus­trated be­ing out of the game, she never con­sid­ered end­ing her ca­reer pre­ma­turely. “It never crossed my mind,’’ she said. Green has been slowly in­tro­duced back into full train­ing over the past few months and has made it through re­cent prac­tice matches with­out prob­lems.

“I just want to get out there and play,’’ she said.

“It’s been the long­est pre-sea­son ever.’’

Green’s Gi­ants team will host Light­ning in their opener of the sea­son after Light­ning beat them 65- 48 for the in­au­gu­ral crown.

The Swifts will tackle Queens­land Fire­birds in the sec­ond match of the NSW dou­ble header.

A raft of rule changes have been in­tro­duced for sea­son two of the com­pe­ti­tion with the most rel­e­vant a change to the way the scor­ing lad­der will work.

Wins now earn four points and draws two but a point will also be awarded to the team that wins each quar­ter of a game.

Other changes for the new sea­son in­clude the num­ber of time-outs for teams has in­creased from two to four and breaks be­tween quar­ters ex­tended by a minute to five min­utes and a 15-minute break at half­time.

Kim­ber­lee Green is back after a long re­cov­ery from an­kle surgery. Main pic­ture: Phil Hill­yard

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