Rebecca Cole suffers season-ending knee injury

Rebecca Cole suffers season-ending knee injury

Australian Basketball young gun and captain of the AIS Women's National Basketball League team, Rebecca Cole, will undergo reconstructive surgery later this week in Melbourne to repair ligament damage she sustained to her right knee after seriously injuring the knee at training at the AIS yesterday morning.

An MRI scan yesterday confirmed that the 19 year old had ruptured both the anterior cruciate ligament as well as the collateral ligament in her right knee. Scans of the knee also revealed that Cole had sustained a tear to her meniscus, all of which is likely to see her out of action for up to 12 months.

Head coach Phil Brown said that the loss of Cole from the AIS group cannot be measured by on-court factors alone.

"Rebecca Cole is the heart and soul of this team, and to lose her for the season is devastating, both for her and for the side," he said. "She was the leader of the group on and off the floor. She is such a hard working, talented young player, and is just a really positive influence on all the players. She leaves a big hole in our line-up."

The 178cm guard had an impressive start to the 2011/12 WNBL season averaging more than 9 points and six assists per game, shooting 53 per cent from the field.

Named captain of he AIS before the start of the current WNBL season, Cole also captained The Gems Australian U19 women's basketball team that finished fourth at the 2011 FIBA U19 World Championship of Basketball in Chile in July.

"She's a player on the rise, so to suffer an injury like this as she was just starting to make her mark is a devastating blow. Our hearts go out to Rebecca and she certainly has our support," said coach Brown.

"We know she has aspirations to continue playing at the top level of the sport and seeing how far she can go. She's young, she's a tough player with a strong work ethic and I’m certain Bec will make a strong recovery and return to the WNBL,” he said.

Cole will fly to Melbourne on Wednesday where she will meet with surgeons who are expected to perform the surgery within the next week.