Proud reveals she played grand final with a broken rib

Maddy Proud has etched her name in NSW Swifts folklore after it emerged she led her team to Super Netball grand glory despite the “excruciating” pain of a broken rib.

Proud, the Swifts’ co-captain, suffered the injury in a collision with Matilda McDonell in the semi-final against GWS Giants, but refused to let it sideline her for the decider.

Instead, Proud took the week off training to rest the injury and had a painkilling injection moments before heading out onto court on Saturday afternoon, before helping her side to a 63-59 victory over the Giants.

Proud said she was determined not to miss this year’s grand final after an ACL injury ruled her out of the 2019 decider, when the Swifts also took out the title.

Proud, who has a history of concussion, was initially more concerned she had taken another knock to the head before realising she had seriously injured her rib.

“It wasn’t until a little bit after that, I was sore straight after and thought, hang on; this doesn’t feel quite right. Shortly afterwards, I could barely move once the adrenaline of the game all went away,” she said.

Floored: Maddy Proud after the semi-final collision in which she broke a rib.

The 27-year-old said she originally refused to even get an X-ray after the incident, fearing she would be told she could not play in the decider.

“I said to Vicki, our physio, ‘I’m not getting this X-ray because I don’t want to know if there’s anything that can come out of this that’s going to stop me from playing in the grand final’. I said I’d rather just not know and play through pain,” she said.

“Her and the whole staff and team, knowing how much that game meant to me, said regardless of what comes out of this, we will get you through it.”

The scan revealed Proud had suffered a buckle fracture in her 10th rib. Luckily, the Swifts had earned the week off thanks to winning the semi-final, which put them through to the decider.

Smiling through the pain: Proud with co-captain Paige Hadley.Credit:Getty

“I think anyone that’s had a broken a rib knows that it’s pretty excruciating, even just things like breathing and everything like that,” she said.

“You begin to catastrophize things in a way. I was thinking well, even if I can play, am I going to feel like I can play? And then, is it the right thing for the team for me to play if I’m not right.”

Swifts shooter Sam Wallace had also battled through a calf injury in the week leading up to the final, missing a number of training sessions.

Proud said the two teammates had supported each other through the injury scares, which makes the image of the pair jumping into each other’s arms at the end of the game all the more special.

“It was nice for us to lean on each other. If she was bit sore, she’d say, ‘At least I’m not playing with a broken rib’. Then I’d be saying, ‘At least it’s not my leg’,” she said. “It definitely puts things in perspective.”

Proud said she now plans to go into recovery mode for a number of weeks before her Diamonds campaign begins.

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