West Coast Fever are breathing a huge sigh of relief after Verity Charles was cleared of an ACL injury, but the star midcourter still appears unlikely to play in Saturday’s major netball semi-final against the Giants in Sydney.
Charles injured her left knee during the final minute of last week’s three-goal loss to the Giants, with the Fever initially fearing it could be an ACL tear.
But scans revealed no major damage with Charles now an outside chance to take on the Giants in Saturday’s high-stakes re-match.
“Her leg didn’t move and she had a couple of players landing on top of her,” Fever coach Stacey Marinkovich said of the injury.
“The reaction and pain she received at that point was pretty severe.
“Once (she got) cleared from an ACL, that really brought a smile to the group.
“She’s still pretty sore, but we’re hopeful she’ll take part in some part of the finals. But we’ll just have to play it day by day.”
Charles will travel with the team to Sydney on Thursday with a late call set to be made on her fitness.
The 27-year-old is desperate for title success after coming close on two previous occasions.
Charles was part of the Queensland Firebirds team that lost the 2014 grand final to the Melbourne Vixens.
And a year later Charles was nursing a broken wrist when her Firebirds teammates beat NSW 57-56 in the decider.
Fever are well placed to make this year’s grand final.
The winner of Saturday’s match between the Fever and Giants will earn hosting rights for the grand final.
The loser will be thrust into a home preliminary final against the winner of the Lightning-Firebirds clash.
Fever trailed the Giants by 14 goals at three-quarter time last week before launching a stirring final-term comeback which ultimately fell just short.
That loss saw Fever drop to second on the table and the Giants finish top.
Marinkovich says it’s important for her team to display their trademark tenacity from the outset this time around.