GREEN WITH ENVY
Kimberlee’s painful wait is over after one tough year
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