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Ash Unie Ruled Out For Season

Sunshine Coast Lightning has been dealt a devastating blow with the Club today confirming defender Ashlee Unie has been ruled out for the 2021 season.

Unie ruptured her anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) in the opening minutes of a trial match against GIANTS Netball in Sydney last Thursday.

Lightning’s medical team confirmed the extent of the injury after the 24-year-old underwent scans on return to the Sunshine Coast this week.

Unie was promoted to Lightning’s senior squad after three years as a Training Partner at the Club and had impressed throughout the pre-season campaign.

The loss has been felt across the Club but Head Coach Kylee Byrne said Unie is a resilient character and will do what is required to rehabilitate her knee and return to being the force she was on the netball court.

“Receiving a senior contract for 2021 was such reward for effort from Ash, so we were gutted as a team and as coaches to see her go down with a serious knee injury,” Byrne said.

“Ash is incredibly strong-willed and while we are heartbroken for her, I have no doubt that she will be diligent in her rehabilitation and will leave no stone unturned.

“In the meantime, our Lightning family will rally around Ash and support her as she now faces surgery and the initial stages of recovery.

“We will also look at the composition of our team to determine the type of athlete that we need to replace Ash’s role in the squad of 10 and will make those decisions in due course.”

In addition to her Lightning commitments, Unie is a practicing Physiotherapist, and her knowledge in this area will no doubt benefit in her rehabilitation.

The Suncorp Super Netball season is set to begin on Saturday 1 May 2021, with Lightning taking on Collingwood Magpies in Melbourne.