Bone set for return to biggest stage, with eye on Commonwealth Games selection

BONE'S BACK: Edwina Bone, pictured in Orange earlier this week, is set to make her return from injury against China this month. Photo: MATT FINDLAY
BONE'S BACK: Edwina Bone, pictured in Orange earlier this week, is set to make her return from injury against China this month. Photo: MATT FINDLAY

Following surgery and a lengthy rehabilitation process, Orange-born Hockeyroo Edwina Bone’s knee is “feeling great” and she confirmed she’s set to return to the international stage in Australia’s upcoming series against China in Perth.

Bone hasn’t taken the field for the Hockeyroos since last year’s World League Semi-Finals in Belgium, and this month’s Tests against China – the side that bounced Australia out of the World League – is essentially her last chance to prove she’s ready for this year’s Gold Coast Commonwealth Games in April.

And you’d expect, she’s gunning to make the most of that opportunity, especially with the World Cup in July as well.

“I want to be stepping out on that field (at the Commonwealth Games) in two months time, to play for my country on home soil,” Bone said, during her visit to Orange earlier this week.

“We don’t really get a lot of games in Australia so to have a Commonwealth Games here … it makes it extra special.

“The surgeon did an awesome job (and) I haven’t had any issues with it since then, touch wood, and we’ve tested it pretty hard.

“I’ve been doing a lot of conditioning, so lots of running, turning and agility work to make sure that it can hold up in a game.

“The next test will hopefully be the international games against China.”

Initially, Bone explained, she was set for a far more serious operation and, as a result, a far longer recovery time. One which would’ve ruled her out of the Commonwealth Games and World Cup, in theory.

“Originally the surgeon thought he needed to drill into the bone to get rid of the stress fracture I had, that would’ve been an almost six-month recovery,” she said.

“But I wanted to be available for the Commonwealth Games and World Cup, so he just looked after the cartilage, hoping the time on crutches afterward would start healing that stress fracture. 

“It’s feeling awesome, so I guess that’s paid off so far. I really wanted to be a part of the China games to make sure I was on the list for selection for Commonwealth Games and I’ve sort of ticked off that I can play, so hopefully I do and play well enough to get a Commonwealth Games spot.”

Bone was a part of the Hockeyroos’ gold medal-winning squad in Glasgow in 2014, and has 143 Test appearances under her belt so in terms of experience, there’s few who stack up against her.

But, even so, with this week’s addition of Jodie Kenny and Kalindi Comerford completing the Hockeyroos’ senior squad, there’s little doubt competition for Commonwealth Games spots will be fierce.

Bone knows that and while she’s desperate to earn a spot, after a three-month stint off the field the 29-year-old she’s excited just to get back on it too.

“You know, 12 weeks doesn’t sound like much when people do ACLs and are out for a year sometimes, but it’s been seven months since I last played, so I just can’t wait to get back out there,” she said.

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