Kia Nurse overcomes ankle injury to lift Canberra Capitals over Townsville Fire in WNBL

Kia Nurse was almost impossible to stop. Picture: Davey Barber/Capitals Media
Kia Nurse was almost impossible to stop. Picture: Davey Barber/Capitals Media

You couldn't blame someone if they didn't believe Kia Nurse was walking around in a moon boot on Friday night.

Because even Canberra Capitals coach Paul Goriss was surprised by her superb outing to inspire an 87-78 win over the Townsville Fire while nursing a left ankle injury.

Nurse scored 24 points while Kelsey Griffin added a game-high 27 to secure Canberra's 16th consecutive home win in front of 1208 at the National Convention Centre on Saturday.

The Canadian import was in a moon boot on Friday night after injuring her ankle at practice during the week but Nurse passed her fitness test on Saturday morning to suit up and play.

"I didn't think she had 24, I really didn't," Goriss said.

"That's the thing with her, Kelsey, they just accumulate points and at the end of it, 24 points in 21 minutes is pretty special knowing what she has done with her ankle.

"She couldn't practice on it for two days and wasn't going to play as of Friday morning, before it came up okay this morning.

"It's good for her and good for our group. I'm glad we could get through and she can get back into her boot."

Kia Nurse played a starring role a day after walking around in a moon boot. Picture: Davey Barber/Capitals Media

Kia Nurse played a starring role a day after walking around in a moon boot. Picture: Davey Barber/Capitals Media

The 23-year-old started from the bench as Keely Froling made her return to the starting line-up in a 28-minute outing.

Nurse sits second in the league's average points per game rankings with 20 and first for minutes with 37 per match, so taking a day off was always going to be a tough ask.

"It's really hard, I'm very, very bad at the 'don't play'. No matter what I would like to push through whatever it is," Nurse said.

"[On Friday] I was like 'well, Gorrie, this might not look very promising', but I passed all the tests. Then it was a matter of, if I was confident enough in my ankle, I would go on it.

"Today I was."

While her points per game didn't take a hit, her minutes certainly did. Nurse put in a 21-minute shift in a move which opened a window of opportunity for her teammates. The usual suspects shouldered most of the load. Maddison Rocci and Gemma Potter impressed, while Alex Delaney drained an early three in her short stint.

But the night was far from perfect for Rocci after she left the court in agony when her finger popped out of place midway through the contest before returning later on.

In truth it was far from perfect for the Capitals.

Maddison Rocci left the court with a hand injury but soon returned. Picture: Davey Barber/Capitals Media

Maddison Rocci left the court with a hand injury but soon returned. Picture: Davey Barber/Capitals Media

Townsville trailed by 15 midway through the second quarter but clawed their way back to take a five-point lead into the main break on the back of a 35-point barrage.

"I wasn't happy. We constantly say we want to hang our hat defensively," Goriss said.

"We just switched off and I think a little bit of it was complacency on our behalf. We had a 15-point lead and put the game in the pocket, and switched off defensively.

"We've got to get that toughness about us and better focus."

This story Nursing an injury not a worry for Capitals' Kia first appeared on The Canberra Times.