You are using an older browser version. Please use a supported version for the best MSN experience.

Mystics lose young star defender to injury

NZ Newswire logoNZ Newswire 23/06/2017

Northern Mystics defender Michaela Sokolich-Beatson will miss the national netball premiership finals series after suffering an acute lower back injury.

The loss comes just one day out from the Mystics' elimination final against Central Pulse in Wellington.

The winner of that match will travel to Invercargill to play the unbeaten Southern Steel in Wednesday's grand final.

Coach Helene Wilson says Sokolich-Beatson's loss is a blow to the team.

"Naturally we are devastated that she won't be with us for the finals series. She is a vital part of our defensive end, but player welfare is a priority for us," she said.

"Michaela has been a consistent performer for the team this year and has really risen to the challenge these last few weeks."

Jess Bourke has been brought into the team for Sunday's elimination final.

While match play was considered by the medical team as too high risk, Sokolich-Beatson will continue on a managed training programme for the next two weeks.

The 19-year-old circle defender is chasing full fitness in time to captain the New Zealand under-21 team at the World Youth Cup in Botswana on July 8-16.

The Mystics are banking on the return of versatile former Silver Fern defender Anna Harrison, who sat out the Mystics' shock 57-46 defeat to the Tactix last week with a niggling back injury.

image beaconimage beaconimage beacon