By Ronald Mpaso:
Malawi national netball team star shooter, Mwawi ‘MJ’ Kumwenda, returned to action in her Australian side Melbourne Vixens’ 63-57 victory over Adelaide Thunderbirds Sunday.
Kumwenda ruptured her anterior cruciate ligament in July last year and had been out of action since.
The injury saw her miss this year’s Netball World Cup in Liverpool, England, where the Queens finished sixth.
Vixens Coach, Simone McKinnis, brought in Kumwenda for the injured Ine- Mari Venter.
Ahead of the game, Mwawi posted on her Facebook page that returning to action felt like a dream.
“I am speechless. To be back on court with Melbourne Vixens tomorrow is a dream,” reads the post.
McKinnis told the club’s website that it was great to have Kumwenda back in action.
“MJ has been playing and training as normal in our match play for the last four weeks and there was an opportunity with Ine-Mari out and being able to have the extra players, so there was nothing like getting your head in the game knowing you could be out there at any minute. It is great for her to be back out there,” McKinnis is quoted as saying.
She said it was pleasing that her charges persisted across all four quarters despite Thunderbirds’ never-give-up spirit.
“It was a hard grinding game, and I thought Thunderbirds played really well. I am happy to get through like we did. I was really enjoying seeing Caitlin out the front of Tegan, so I wanted to see how long it was going to work for us.
“But I am really proud of the team and the way they have come back and stepped out on the court, absolutely rapt to have the six points.”
Tegan Philip contributed 33 of the 63 goals in her 112th game for Vixens to become their most capped player. Her efforts won her the Nissan Player-of-the-Match accolade.
Vixens return to Melbourne Arena on Saturday to take on West Coast Fever.