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Devastation for Flyers as O'Hea out

DEVASTATING WNBL news today with Southside Flyers and Opals captain Jenna O'Hea out for the rest of the season after breaking her wrist in the overtime win over Melbourne.

O'Hea, whose performance was of such sustained grit that she won our Player of the Week award for the second time this season, requires surgery and will be out for between 10-12 weeks.

The injury also rules her out of the Opals' Tokyo Olympic Qualifying Tournament next month in Bourges, France. Her place in the Australian lineup will be taken by Flyers teammate Sara Blicavs, a veteran now of two Asia Cup campaigns with the Opals.

STAR TURN: Jenna O'Hea goes to the hoop against the Boomers, where she had a huge game.

The only positive news for O'Hea is she will have sufficient recovery time to take her place in the Opals team at the Tokyo Olympic Games, assuming it qualifies through Bourges.

In a four-team group with France, Brazil and Puerto Rico, Australia only has to finish in the top three at the qualifiers, which should not be particularly difficult.

“We are really disappointed for Jenna, but we will rally around her with our full support,” Southside coach and Opals assistant Cherly Chambers said.

The club also says her absence will not effect the Flyers' resolve in winning the 2019-20 WNBL championship but clearly she is a huge part of the campaign and will not easily be replaced.

O'Hea, Blicavs, Bec Cole, Leilani Mitchell and Mercedes Russell have played the bulk of the minutes for the league-leading Flyers this season.

It means players such as Louella Tomlinson, Aimie Clydesdale, Kiera Rowe and Anneli Maley will see more action, the 14-3 Flyers with four games left in the regular season, at Bendigo, then home to Canberra (10-6), home to Adelaide (10-7) and to Sydney.

O'Hea's absence most assuredly effects the balance of power in the run to the championship, the versatile forward with 19 points (with three 3-pointers), six rebounds, two assists, four steals and a block in the 75-73 overtime escape against Melbourne (12-5).

OPALS CALL UP: Sara Blicavs replaces Jenna O'Hea in the Opals team for the qualifiers.

Jan 14

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