The Hockeyroos have been dealt a blow on the eve of the inaugural FIH Pro League with star midfielder Steph Kershaw ruled out for the year after tearing her anterior cruciate ligament.
The Townsville product, who was runner-up in the 2017 Hockeyroos Player of the Year, suffered the injury at training at Perth Hockey Stadium on Saturday morning.
The midfielder underwent scans on Saturday which confirmed the devastating news on her left knee.
She successfully underwent surgery on Tuesday and will now begin her rehabilitation with a view to returning to training later in the year, working closely with Hockey Australia Manager of Planning and Performance Dee Jennings who has previously helped rehab several high profile athletes from knee injuries.
Kershaw had torn her right ACL in 2015, effectively ending her bid to be part of the 2016 Rio Olympics team.
She had regained her place in the side over the past two years, excelling in 2017 across 24 appearances to finish runner-up to Jane Claxton in the Player of the Year award.
Kershaw backed that up by making the most appearances for the Hockeyroos in 2018, with 28 caps and three goals.
The Hockeyroos’ FIH Pro League commences in less than two weeks against world champions Netherlands in Melbourne on Saturday 2 February. The side also plays Belgium on Sunday 3 February.
The FIH Pro League is a world-first global home-and-away league which pits nine of the world’s best international teams against each other on a weekly basis.