MELBOURNE Vixens have been dealt a major blow on the eve of the season with scans confirming star shooter Tegan Philip has ruptured her left anterior cruciate ligament and will miss their 2016 campaign.
Philip suffered the knee injury during the Vixens’ pre-season hit-out against the Adelaide Thunderbirds in the country Victorian city of Shepparton on Saturday night.
Philip was taken from the court late in the match and returned to Melbourne to have the injury assessed and Vixens medical staff confirmed the diagnosis.
The Vixens’ all-time leading goalscorer (with 1477 goals from 72 appearances) and 2014 Grand Final Player of the Match said while devastated by the season-ending injury, she‘s remaining positive about her pending surgery and rehabilitation.
“Unfortunately, injuries like these are a part of the game and I’ve now got to focus on my rehab and doing what I can to assist the team from the sidelines,” Philip said.
“I know I’ll have the support of my husband, family and teammates - especially Madi (Robinson) who went through this last year and has come back in fantastic shape.”
The Vixens said Philip, who turns 28 on March 9, will undergo surgery in Melbourne and complete her rehab at the Victorian Institute of Sport for the rest of the year.
Philip has nine Test caps and was a member of Australia’s 2014 Commonwealth Games Gold Medal-winning side.
The Vixens will search for a replacement player leading into the upcoming ANZ Championship Pre-Season Shootout in Sydney and their season proper, which begins on Sunday, April 3 against the NSW Swifts.