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Injury nightmare as Cannock's Beth Cobden sidelined for home Games

England netball star Beth Cobden has endured yet more injury heartache after being ruled out of the Commonwealth Games.

Cannock’s Cobden, 29, was named in England’s squad to contest the Birmingham games, with a first match at the end of this month, but she has run out of time to fully recover from a calf injury.

It is the latest chapter in a series of incredibly poor fortune with injury for the former Heath Hayes schoolgirl Cobden. The Loughborough Lightning player has struggled with knee injury in recent years – and had to overcome three anterior cruciate ligament injuries.

The calf injury had sidelined Cobden for the Vitality Netball Superleague finals at the end of last season and means she will not take to the court alongside her team-mates to defend the historic title they won at the last Games, on Australia’s Gold Coast in 2018.

“I’m absolutely gutted to be missing a home Games,” said Cobden.

“I’ve worked so hard to get there but unfortunately sport can be cruel and my calf just wasn’t ready.

“I’m very grateful to England Netball for everything they’ve done for me, and to the amazing support from my teammates, family and friends who are keeping me smiling.

“I’ll be cheering on the girls all the way and I have no doubt they’ll make us proud.”

England kickstart their Commonwealth defence when they take on Trinidad and Tobago in the opening match at Resorts World Arena in Birmingham on Friday, July 29.

Imogen Allison, of Team Bath, has been called up in place of Cobden by head coach Jess Thirlby.

A knee injury previously ruled 26-cap Cobden out of the Netball World Cup in 2019.

Thirlby said of her withdrawal “It’s really sad to have lost Beth.

“She’s given it everything to be back in time but unfortunately, time has worked against us in terms of her rehab from her injury. For any team to lose anyone of that stature is disappointing and all the girls were right around her when they learnt the news.”

“Beth has been outstanding in the way she has managed herself over the past few weeks and is a much-loved character in our team.

“She has always put the team first and we will be right behind her as she makes her return on court and we hope to see her out there in our next international window as we head into Cape Town.”

Cobden, a centre court player, returned to Loughborough Lightning a little over 18 months ago after a largely frustrating time playing in Australia with Adelaide Thunderbirds.

During her time Down Under she endured a repeat ACL injury in her knee, less than 12 months after first experiencing the injury. That came just three matches into her Adelaide stint.

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