Commonwealth Games Hadley hurt in Australian Games win over South Africa

Center Paige Hadley has caused horror at the Commonwealth Games netball campaigns in Australia after suffering a sore calf muscle.

Hadley limped away in the second quarter of Monday’s 74-49 win over South Africa.

She spent the rest of the game with ice on her calf on the bench.

Coach Stacey Marinkovich was unaware of the extent of the injury immediately afterwards.

“Obviously she pinched her calf – we’ll see what the result is. The medical staff will work through it and then we’ll just go through our plans to get her recovery right,” Marinkovich said.

“It’s been nibbling in the background, it’s one we just have to move forward with.

“Everything looked really, really good. She felt good, you could tell she moved really well, she played well.

“Now we just have to figure out what this rehab program looks like.”

Ideally, Hadley would be in Australia’s starting seven.

But she first injured her calf in a pre-games camp and then sat out the opening pool game against Barbados before playing limited minutes against Scotland.

Hadley tried to improve by starting against South Africa but it is now unclear when she will return to the Diamonds line-up.

There seems no chance that she will play against Wales on Tuesday.

“She’s working through it now. Once we actually know what it is and how far it goes, she’ll handle that just fine,” Marinkovich said.

If Hadley’s injury is serious, Marinkovich needs to consider what that means for Australia’s midfield rotation.

“The girls really understand the roles that they have to play out there and that was part of the selection process,” she said.

“You have to make sure whether it’s COVID, whether it’s an injury or an illness, that you can cover anyone at any time.

“We have good strength and depth.”

South Africa were a tougher opponent for Australia after the Diamonds traveled to victories in their first two pool games.

“There’s a lot to like about how we had to step up our performance,” Marinkovich said.

Wing attack captain Liz Watson was the only Australian to play the full game, while scorer Gretel Bueta scored 34 goals with 100 per cent accuracy.

“I have versatility in the squad and to score so many goals against South Africa we showed we also have good versatility,” said Marinkovich.

“There are some combinations I want to look at tomorrow against another competition.”