Rachel Jarry admits concussions are ‘worrying’
Canberra Capitals forward Rachel Jarry admits the lack of knowledge about the long-term effects of concussion is “worrying” as she prepares to spend a month on the sidelines.
Jarry will miss the next four weeks of the WNBL season with a concussion in a major blow to the Capitals’ hopes of reviving their season.
It’s Jarry’s second concussion battle in the past fortnight and the latest in a string of head injuries that have cruelled her career, but she isn’t too stressed about any long-term effects.
It means the Capitals will be without the n Opals star for a crucial stretch as they fight to save their season, beginning with a clash against Perth on Saturday night.
Jarry’s absence opens the door for Chevannah Paalvast and Eziyoda Magbegor to play more minutes, while Jordan Hooper could play a different role against the Lynx.
Jarry is spending the week with her family in Melbourne as she recovers from the concussion suffered against the Sydney Flames, which is not related the one she had last month.
“As much as we think we know a bit more about it all, we don’t really know that much,” Jarry said.
“A lot of the studies done, especially on NFL players, are really skewed towards the athletes that do have symptoms.
“They don’t do any studies on athletes that don’t have symptoms later in their life at all so it’s unknown and that’s what the worrying thing is.
“Playing basketball, you don’t lead with your head and get hit in every game like you do in a full contact sport so I’m not too concerned.
“I just think it’s about making sure I’m symptom-free anytime I get concussed. That’s just the best we can do for now but I don’t have any long-term effects so that’s good news.”
The WNBL uses the Basketball concussion policy and competition boss Sally Phillips is working with the players’ association to develop clearer guidelines.
Jarry won’t change her hard-nosed approach when she returns to the court, adamant it’s her tenacious mentality that turned her into an Olympian.
“I’ve been going in hard my whole life, ever since I was a kid and I first stepped onto the court. I don’t think I could change that,” Jarry said.
“What separates me from other players is how hard I do play so I wouldn’t like to change that. I just hopefully don’t get too many more knocks on the head. It’s a hard thing to change how you play.”
Capitals coach Paul Goriss says it won’t take much to adjust to life without Jarry on the court having been through it last week.
Goriss was also left to sweat on the fitness of captain Natalie Hurst, who only returned to training on Thursday having battled a middle ear infection during the week.
“It’s obviously disappointing for us and disappointing for her to be ruled out over the next four weeks so we’ve just got to plug along with who we’ve got and just make some key adjustments to that,” Goriss said.
“She’s had quite a few so this is a precaution obviously after having one and having another concussion within a week.
“The doctors have said four weeks off so she’ll just do some light training and light fitness work so we’ll keep monitoring her situation.”
Instead of travelling to Perth Jarry will be racing the clock to be fit for the Capitals’ return to Canberra – which won’t come until December 7 against the Sydney Flames.
A month-long stretch on the road means the 25-year-old’s absence could not have come at a worse time for the Capitals as they fight to snap a seven-game losing streak.
WNBL ROUND SIX
Saturday: Perth Lynx v Canberra Capitals at Bendat Basketball Centre, 6.30pm.