Sunshine Coast Lightning confirms Vice Captain Tara Hinchliffe has sustained an ACL rupture and will miss the 2023 Suncorp Super Netball Season.

Hinchliffe was playing in the bronze medal match against the Melbourne Vixens at the recent Suncorp Team Girls Cup tournament on the Gold Coast, when she had an awkward landing in the third quarter and immediately called time to come off the court.

While originally cleared of serious injury, further scans on Hinchliffe’s knee confirm the rupture, sustaining the same injury on the same knee in 2021.

Head Coach Belinda Reynolds expressed her sadness for Hinchliffe, who experienced her debut for the Australian Diamonds at the recent Quad Series in South Africa.

“I’m extremely disappointed Tara will miss the 2023 season. She has been in career-best form which was recently rewarded with her debut for the Diamonds,” she said.

“Tara is a huge loss for our team and her smarts, versatility and ability to read the game will not easily be replaced. While she won’t be on court with the players, she will still work closely with the group and retain her Vice Captain role — her leadership and smarts are crucial assets to our team.

“I have no doubt Tara will be meticulous in her rehabilitation and will be inspiring in her comeback.”

A replacement player will be recruited before the first game of the season at home against GIANTS Netball on Sunday, 19 March at 1pm AEST.

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