One of New Zealand's key netball defenders,
Michaela Sokolich-Beatson, has suffered a season-ending injury, and is out of the upcoming netball Cadbury Netball Series.
Sokolich-Beatson has ruptured her left Achilles during training. She was set to line up for the New Zealand A side against the Silver Ferns, New Zealand men and under 21s in Palmerston North.
The injury makes for a heartbreaking end to 2020 for the Northern Mystic, who was due to return from an injury to her right Achilles which kept her out of the entirety of the ANZ Premiership season.
Should her form have been good enough to see out the year, a re-entry into the first team for the 24-year-old was on the cards.
Sokolich-Beatson has travelled home to Auckland where she is receiving further treatment.
Coach Dame Noeline Taurua says the brunt of the news has been felt by many.
"Just really devastated, if I'm going to be honest. She met everything, everyone who knows Michaela knows she's a hard worker, she did everything that she needed to do to get herself back on court, and if anything probably exceeded all our expectations."
Taurua says they are looking over their work to get Sokolich-Beatson back to full health, to make sure 'no stone was left unturned'.
She says as far as they know, there is no link between the two Achilles injuries.
"That's only on face value. We will pull everything apart, see if there's any research we have missed or look at our programming and planning.
"At the moment there was no indication that she was going to do anything, apart from if there's something genetic there with her body."
Following the retirement of Casey Kopua and now Sokolich-Beatson's injury
the defensive group for New Zealand is relatively thin
, particularly in the upcoming Taini Jamieson series against England which starts on October 28.
The Silver Ferns' first match in the Cadbury series is against New Zealand A tomorrow night.