The Black Sticks Women were dealt a cruel blow ahead of their must-win FIH Pro League match against Australia today when Rose Keddell suffered a freak injury.

The seasoned defender needed stitches to her head after copping a knock while training this week, Black Sticks interim coach Sean Dancer confirmed.

The 25-year-old was out running when a rubbish bin dropped from the truck after it had been emptied, striking the 165-cap star.

"She had an interesting story. She's had some stitches in her head…When I received the message from her I had to read it a couple of times to be sure what happened," Dancer told Radio Sport.

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"For us, it would be great to have everyone available for such a key game against Australia. But unfortunately, we don't."

Keddell saw the funny side of the incident when posting on social media.

"Bit of a weird one being taken out by a rubbish bin but goes to show anything's possible so dream big!"

"I was running on the road and the truck was parked on the curb, so tucked into pass it in the footpath and the bin that was being emptied came down and smacked me on the top of the head lol. Weirdest scenario but cut me gooood," she said.

The Black Sticks women are hoping to bounce back after successive away defeats to Argentina and China.

They have won only four from 10 Pro League matches and were sixth on the points table ahead of the Anzac Day clash at the North Harbour Stadium.

Goalkeeper Sally Rutherford returns as one of two goalkeepers in the only change to the squad that went down 3-1 in Rosario two week ago.