Steph Wood arrives for her first day of full training with the Sunshine Coast Lightning.
Steph Wood arrives for her first day of full training with the Sunshine Coast Lightning. Warren Lynam

Lightning suffers first major injury blow

NETBALL: A Sunshine Coast doctor is hopeful Lightning goal attack Steph Wood can return to the court "early in the Suncorp Super Netball season” after she underwent knee surgery last week.

Wood will miss this weekend's trials at its new University of the Sunshine Coast home against Southern Steel on Friday and Sunday.

A Lightning press release late this afternoon said Wood underwent minor arthroscopic surgery to remove unstable cartilage behind her knee.

Wood remained home from this month's Quad Series between Australia, New Zealand, England and South Africa to nurse the "niggling” injury ahead of Round 1.

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She has spent some time on-court during practice matches but was notably sidelined during a session at Caloundra last week.

It is unclear whether Wood will return in time for Round 1 against the Queensland Firebirds at Boondall.

Director at Sunshine Coast Sports Medicine Clinic Dr Matt Dwyer said the procedure was a "success” and that Wood had made "good progress”.

"We are looking at a return to the court early in the Suncorp Super Netball competition,” he said in Lightning's statement.

The Goal Attack has been working hard with Lightning medical staff to ensure a safe and speedy return.

"I'm disappointed I won't be playing with my teammates against Steel in front of our home fans at USC Sports Stadium,” Wood said.

Lightning Coach Noeline Taurua conceded Wood will be missed.

"It's a shame because Steph is an integral part of our squad and has been outstanding in pre-season training,” Taurua said.

"We know what an asset Steph is. Our medical staff will support her to get her playing again as soon as possible.”

Sunshine Coast faces the Invercargill-based Club on Friday at 7:45pm and Sunday at midday.



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