Ipswich leader sidelines herself to avoid serious injury
AS a physiotherapist, Ipswich Force co-captain Georgia Ralph is adopting a cautious approach to an injury that could have a long-term impact if not managed properly.
Ralph will sit out Ipswich's next two Queensland State League (QSL) matches waiting for more information from scans.
She suffered an elbow injury on her shooting right arm during training after the first game.
"I tried to get to a screen and I got caught a really awkward way,'' she said.
With a risk the ligament could tear more requiring surgery, Ralph has been resting her elbow in recent weeks.
"I'd rather let it heal and look after it so I don't make it a longer term injury,'' she said.
"I'll sit out two weeks and then see how I'm feeling and see what more scans show and go from there.''
As Force prepares for Saturday night's latest QSL match against Southern Districts at home, Ralph was encouraged by her team's progress.
"We've got a lot of young girls that had to step up this season,'' she said.
"The first game or so was a little bit of a shock to the system but they've really picked it up and they are doing so well.
"You can just see the improvement and the confidence each week coming into the game.''
Force are in seventh place with two wins and three losses, facing the third-placed Spartans (five wins and a loss).
"It's going to be a really tough game. It's a really deep team for experience,'' Ralph said.
"It will be a good challenge for us.''
Among the Ipswich players to have impressed in recent weeks are Tiayana Sing, Jess Taylor, Iris Cubit and Catherine Macgregor.
"Tiayana definitely had a blinder last week,'' Ralph said. "She came out of the woodwork, which was great.
"Jess Taylor is a little bit older but she's come out and her effort is amazing.
"Iris has really stepped up as well. She's working on her fitness.
"Cath is also amazing. She's now a player that we really rely on. Her role has definitely changed.''
Having lost some Ipswich products like Kate Head, Grace Ellis and Loie Webb to College basketball, the Force women have welcomed back another teenage talent Charlotte Hegvold.
Ralph rates the St Peter Claver College student highly as she works hard before also heading overseas next year for a scholarship.
Despite her injury setback, Ralph was happy to receive an additional honour this season alongside good friend Amy Lewis.
"Amy is a great person to be co-captain with,'' Ralph said.
"She's such an experienced player.
"I'm still learning a lot from her and we really bounce off each other well.
"We have a really good relationship with Terry (Lindeberg), our coach.''
The Ipswich Force men are after another big scalp in their latest game at JBS Arena on Saturday night.
Force have moved into fifth place after their third win over Toowoomba last weekend.
Southern Districts are in second place with five wins and one loss.
The QSL games being livestreamed on this website on Saturday feature the Brisbane Capitals against Logan Thunder.
The women's match at Auchenflower Stadium is at 5pm with the men's clash to follow at 7pm.
Saturday at JBS Arena, Booval
QSL Womens's Division 1: 5pm - Ipswich Force v Southern Districts
QSL Men's Division 1: 7pm - Ipswich Force v Southern Districts