Slow recovery for hockey ace after concussion injury

NICOLA White has yet to return to hockey seven weeks after being concussed in a training match against Ireland.

Nicola with the World Cup. England are hoping to win this summer

The 30-year-old former Saddleworth Hockey Club player is battling to regain fitness in readiness for the World Cup in July.

Nicola was ruled out of the Commonwealth Games and at the end of April also missed her club Holcombe’s appearance in the finals of the Investec Women’s Hockey League.

Holcombe reached the final, losing 3-1 to Surbiton who were crowned champions for a fifth successive year.

Team England won bronze on Australia’s Gold Coast where they lost to New Zealand in the semi finals after a penalty shootout, but beat India in the play-off for bronze.

Nicola said: “Watching the Commonwealth Games from back home in the UK was a tough one for me, but my team-mates gave their best out there and bringing back a bronze medal is still a great achievement.

“I am sure much will be debriefed over the coming weeks and coach Danny Kerry will be prioritising areas to work on for the biggest impact in our next tournament, the World Cup in London.”

Reflecting in the injury, Nicola said: “Although I wish I could have been there with them in Australia, I now understand the decision to withdraw me from the squad was the correct one.

“Seven weeks on from picking up a head injury during a training match against Ireland, I have learned how debilitating concussion can be and it certainly hasn’t been a straightforward recovery.

“I have had to be patient and give the brain the rest it needs to recover while also trying not become too down and isolated because of the lack of ability to be out and around people.

“The concussion dictated what I did on a daily basis and to a certain degree it still does now, although I do now have a more specific rehabilitation plan in place to help me get back to functioning normally.

“It isn’t a quick fix and there may still be some time before I return to playing.

“However, I understand I have to prioritise my health over hockey.

“The more I focus on this, looking after myself and not being stressed or worried, I am giving myself the best chance of the quickest recovery.”

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