How Ipswich captain’s valued wife aids his recovery
LOYAL Ipswich Force captain Jason Ralph has always appreciated having a wife so supportive of his basketball exploits.
Marrying long-time friend and another Force state league player Georgia was one of the best decisions of his life.
However, Ralph has an added reason to be grateful as he continues his recovery for the fast-approaching NBL1 season.
Georgia is a physio, keeping a close eye on his vital rehabilitation.
After enduring a massive setback during last year's state competition, Ralph was uncertain about his playing future.
Two surgeries later and the pain has gone from nerve problems in his back and down his right leg.
"I feel really good,'' the popular sportsman said.
"I don't really feel like I have an injury at the moment.''
Ralph is back swimming and can walk comfortably without any anguish.
However, with Georgia and his doctor watching him closely, he knows he can't overdo it with a new season looming.
"I do understand that it is a slow and steady race for me,'' the experienced basketballer said.
"There's no running yet but hopefully I can run mid-March.
"I'm hoping to get back on the court early April, just in time for the season.''
The new-look NBL1 competition starts on April 25.
Ralph has his first surgery on his problem disc on December 12.
However, when a piece of his disc came off just before Christmas, he needed more work done. His second operation was on December 30.
"From there, I haven't had any pain,'' he said, except for the normal post-surgery soreness.
He's able to do exercises working with Georgia.
Apart from saving some medical expenses, Jason said Georgia continued to be a wonderful ally knowing what he had gone through since July last year.
"It's the best thing to have a wife who is a physio,'' he said. "That helps me out.
"She's very patient with me.''
Ralph is excited about the new NBL1 competition, designed to enhance the professionalism of what was the former Queensland Basketball League.
However, working full-time as Head of Basketball and with other sports at Ipswich Grammar, Ralph needs little reminding of the need to follow a sensible rehab program.
"I also want to go really fast but I also know that I can't really speed it up,'' he said, having turned 25 last month.
"She's really good to me.''
Ralph is keen to return to the court after getting a clearance from his surgeon next month.
"I'll just start building up and start running and hopefully everything is all healed up,'' he said.
The former Ipswich Grammar School student also wants to do the right thing by his coach Chris Riches and not rush back if he's not ready.
"It's a long enough season where I can miss a couple of weeks,'' he said.
"That's my main goal. I want to be fit for a NBL1 pre-season tournament.
"I don't want to go into the first game underdone as well.
"I just want to make sure I'm fully fit.
"If that doesn't happen, it's not the end of the world.''