A serious knee injury has ended the decorated netball career of Jodi Brown, leaving the veteran Central Pulse shooter distraught.
Sustaining the injury during the Pulse's first match of the pre-season tournament held in Sydney last weekend, Brown's worst fears were realised with confirmation this week of a ruptured Anterior Cruciate Ligament in her right knee. The damage did not finish there, Brown also sustaining a grade two tear of the Medial Cruciate Ligament.
"Being gutted doesn't even come close to how I'm feeling right now," Brown said.
"In Sydney, it felt everything was just starting to fall into place with the team. There was so much to look forward to this season, it was exciting and that's what I'm so angry about."
In a fateful twist, a similar injury to her left knee ruled Brown out of the Silver Ferns netball programme on the eve of the 2006 Melbourne Commonwealth Games almost 10 years ago to the day. This time there will be no comeback.
"This was going to be my last year, anyway," she said. "I know what it takes to be at this level and it will take nine months to rehab my knee and then to start my fitness from scratch again, at this stage of my career, is just a bridge too far."
The well-travelled Brown, 34, has fashioned a stellar career from around New Zealand after stints with Mainland Tactix, Waikato Bay of Plenty Magic, Southern Steel and Pulse at ANZ Championship level.
Now living in Dunedin, Brown called Wellington home for many years, and reluctantly hangs up her bib where it all began, after arriving in the Capital as a 16-year-old schoolgirl from Whanganui, and coming under the tutelage of legendary coach Dame Lois Muir.