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Mwawi Kumwenda out of World Cup

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By Mphatso Malidadi:

UNLUCKY—Mwawi on clutches

Malawi national netball team will be building castles in the air if they are still hoping to have Australia-based shooter Mwawi Kumwenda for the Netball World Cup.

The towering shooter, who is recovering from ruptured anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) injury, has issued a statement ruling herself out of the world showpiece following her doctors’ advice.

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The tournament will be held from July 12 to 21 at the M&S Bank Arena in Liverpool, England.

Mwawi has started light training but insists she will not be fit in time for the World Cup.

“Currently I have just started running/jogging as part of training. Unfortunately, I won’t be available to participate in the world cup games as per doctor’s advice that l should not play netball for one year. Now my leg is healing and getting stronger. I believe I will be fully recovered soonest.

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“l am not even participating in the upcoming season for my team Melbourne Vixens which will start on 27th April, 2019 due to the above stated reason,” Mwawi says in a statement released through her manager and legal advisor Hlupikire Chalamba.

The former Kukoma Diamonds shooter wished her compatriots well but expressed her sadness as she will not be able to defend the best player accolade.

“I feel sad that I will not be able to represent my beloved country and of course defend my trophy. Remember l was the best player during the previous world cup tournament. I wish the girls all the best and believe they will do much better. They need to do a lot of training and build self confidence in order to bring the trophy home. I will be cheering them on TV all the time,” says the Melbourne Vixens shooter.

The 28-year-old Malawian export sustained the left knee injury when she landed awkwardly during the third quarter of the Round 13 game against West Coast Fever on 28 July.

Netball Association of Malawi (Nam) General Secretary, Carol Bapu, said it was difficult to confirm if Mwawi would be available for the World Cup or not as they were unable to get feedback on their queries.

“I cannot comment on that issue now because we haven’t heard anything from her and her manager despite contacting them. I will only be able to comment after I get feedback from them,” she said.

According to www.mayoclinic.org, an ACL injury is a tear or sprain of the anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) — one of the major ligaments in the knee.

ACL injuries most commonly occur during sports that involve sudden stops or changes in direction, jumping and landing — such as soccer, basketball, football and downhill skiing.

Many people hear or feel a “pop” in the knee when an ACL injury occurs. The knee may swell, feel unstable and become too painful to bear weight.

Depending on the severity of ACL injury, treatment may include rest and rehabilitation exercises to help regain strength and stability or surgery to replace the torn ligament followed by rehabilitation. A proper training programme may help reduce the risk of an ACL injury.

According to www.medicinenet.com, rehabilitation and return to normal function after surgical repair of an ACL tear can take six to nine months. There needs to be a balance between trying to do too much work in physical therapy returning strength and range of motion and doing too little.

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