Southern Steel netball captain Wendy Frew is recovering from surgery she underwent in hospital last night after a "nightmare" van crash in the Christchurch suburb of Fendalton.
The surgery repaired injuries sustained to Frew's elbow and leg, and leaves her on the sideline for an indeterminate period.
Recounting the ordeal, Frew said the experience has been traumatic on the whole team.
"It's like a nightmare – it's such an awful, scary experience to be involved in for all of us," Frew said in a statement today.
"But we are a strong team and a strong franchise and we will get through it together. We've just got to look forward," Frew said.
The Steel have decided to play against the Mainland Tactix tomorrow night, June 14, and are in the process of discussions with ANZ Premiership officials to bring in replacement players.
Six Steel players were hospitalised following the June 12 crash in Fendalton.
In addition to Frew, mid-courter Shannon Francois and shooter Jhaniele Fowler-Reid sustained minor injuries, but were released from hospital yesterday.
Shooter Te Paea Selby-Rickit suffered a rib injury and was released to recover with the team last night.
Steel lead physiotherapist Corina Ngatuere said player recovery would be "gauged day by day".
"No decisions have been made regarding player availability for future games and won't be until we are further through the recovery process," Ngatuere said.
Frew said members of the public at the scene and the medical staff involved with the team's care were "exceptional".
"Everyone has just been incredible – people didn't hesitate to help. And I've had so many kind messages which I am truly grateful for."
Despite the depleted lineup, Southern Steel chief executive Lana Winders was optimistic about the team’s immediate games.
"No team plans to be dealing with an emergency incident like this but we are in a position to present a team tomorrow because of the commitment of our players and the depth in our development ranks," she said.
"Our tagline has always been "made of Steel" – now we get to prove it."
"Maybe this has galvanised them, hearing each other's stories and knowing they are not alone," say the nurses behind the Facebook group, New Zealand, please hear our voice.