Maroons captain Ali Brigginshaw is in a race to be Origin-fit ahead of June 21 after suffering a syndesmosis injury that could sideline her for up to 10 weeks.
Brigginshaw travelled to the Gold Coast on crutches on Friday to participate in the Jillaroos' first camp ahead of the World Cup next year.
"I went in for a tackle and my ankle got caught underneath me, it was a forward that landed on my ankle," Brigginshaw said. "I was a bit upset at the time. I just thought I have a big season and it could be ended within that moment, so I hit panic mode for a second.
"Having an injury sucks, so seeing the girls is a good way to help you through."
Brigginshaw sported crutches on Friday at the Jillaroos’ first camp ahead of the World Cup next year.Credit:NRL Photos
Brigginshaw suffered the injury during a trial with Ipswich Brothers and has now been ruled out of Queensland's new state competition in March.
The Broncos star will undergo a second surgery in six weeks time, after having a screw put in her ankle two weeks ago.
Originally, doctors cleared the 30-year-old of injury before Brigginshaw got a second opinion from a surgeon, who said he would need to operate.
"It went from like a high, thinking I was all clear, to a low but that's football," Brigginshaw said. "I've been injured a few times on that field particularly, so that was also another thing, it just wasn't my day."
Brigginshaw could be out for up to 10 weeks and will likely be able to start training at full strength again just eight weeks out from women's State of Origin.
"I'm hoping just to do the rehab, I'm in the right people's hands so hopefully they can get me on the field," Brigginshaw said.
Brigginshaw is the current captain of the Brisbane Broncos, the Maroons and the Jillaroos and is considered one of the best female league players in history. She has taken the Broncos to back-to-back NRLW titles.
The Jillaroos playmaker was the face of the women's game and featured for six seconds in the NRL's 2020 Simply The Best ad campaign, which was heavily criticised for catering to minorities.
"I try not to read the negative comments around anything," Brigginshaw said. "To get that little feature, I thought it was massive for the [women's] game."
Many of the criticisms focused on a shot of Rabbitohs recruit Mitchell draped in an Aboriginal flag.
"I thought that was so powerful," Brigginshaw said. "We've got a lot of indigenous girls in our teams that we play in and then I just think for that image, him standing there, it just meant so much to the group and to see that."
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