BALLARAT Rush guard Cass Hobbs must undergo a knee reconstruction after twisting her knee on court on Saturday night.
Hobbs will be sidelined for the remaining South East Australian Basketball League season.
MRI scans yesterday revealed Hobbs had torn an anterior cruciate ligament.
Hobbs sustained the injury deep in the final quarter of a 36-point win against Albury-Wodonga on the road.
Auslec Rush coach Donna Rinaldi said the injury came as a massive blow.
“It’s a huge loss for the team, especially because she’s just so fit,” Rinaldi said.
“She’s a big hole to fill – Cass has a lot of experience, is a great athlete and is very self-motivated.
“She’ll come back better than ever.”
Rinaldi said Hobbs was very disappointed but remained “ever the optimist” in facing a lengthy rehabilitation and would be disciplined in her recovery.
Hobbs will meet with a surgeon early this week and is likely to have surgery within the next 10 days.
The injury will also impact Hobbs’ job as a first-year physical education teacher and her netball with Redan in the Ballarat Football League.
Rinaldi said Rush would be forced to look within Ballarat basketball ranks to find a replacement on the roster.
Rush is tipped to promote a promising player from its D-League ranks.
Hobbs has established her role as a relentlessly aggressive guard, known for providing Rush with valuable spark off the bench.
Rush is still waiting on the return of talented forward Ash Stonehouse from a knee injury.
Stonehouse had surgery in the pre-season to clean out the joint and is yet to play a match.
Promising Rush players Sophie Alexander and Olivia Jones notched up solid game time against Albury-Wodonga on Saturday in their comebacks.
Alexander had a foot complaint while Jones returned from an ankle injury.
Rush returns to the court to host Hobart on Saturday night at the Minerdome in a double-header with Ballarat Miners.