Scotsburn native hopes to play in next X-Women rugby game
© CHRISTOPHER CAMERON - THE NEWS
Scotsburn’s Emma Taylor expects to be in the X-Women lineup for Sunday’s rugby game in Antigonish against UPEI. Taylor suffered an injury while playing for Team Atlantic over the summer, which required surgery. She was cleared to play by the surgeon on Monday.
ANTIGONISH – Being on the sidelines for the St. FX women’s rugby four regular season games has likely been more painful for Emma Taylor than the physical pain in her knee in recent weeks.
Monday she received the response from her surgeon that she had hoped for. Her knee has recovered well from the surgery and she’s cleared to play.
Taylor dislocated her kneecap when playing for Team Atlantic over the summer at nationals. When her kneecap was dislocated she tore some cartilage and chipped some bone. Everything appears to be normal and she’s pain-free currently.
“Basically we knew which way my kneecap went when I dislocated it, so the surgeon was just looking to make sure that it was back in place,” she said. “You want it to move around freely, but it also needs stability. Monday he said it felt stable and normal again.”
Although she has permission to play, the final call is hers. She said that she this week she will have to do a few things to test it like taking full contact during practice and being tackled. Taylor said that sprinting and planting her foot has felt fine when she stops or changes directions.
“I’ve been running around anyways at a 60 to 70 per cent for the last few weeks,” she said. “We have a game on Sunday that I plan on being on the field for. I’m not going to play a full game and might not get a full half in. I’m going to ease into it. A lot of my injury recovery is mental and if I get some adrenaline flowing will forget about it.
“If it doesn’t feel right I’ll take myself out.”
Whenever she does come back she will not be able to use a knee brace because it has a hinge on it. She hasn’t used it lately, instead getting the student athletic therapist to tape her knee, which has felt just as good according to Taylor.
Although she was injured when she arrived on campus this year for her fourth season with the team and wasn’t 100 per cent certain when she would return, Taylor was named captain by head coach Mike Cavanagh. She said it wasn’t really announced, but thrust upon her.
“It was really subtle and I didn’t really know,” she said. “Mike just introduced me to a few people as their captain and that was the extent of it. It was thrust upon me more than being offered the title. It’s actually really hard being a captain from sidelines because more than ever you want to be out on the field helping. We had a devastating loss against Acadia to start the season and I wanted to be out there, but there was nothing I could do about it besides helping to encourage the girls.”
Since the X-Women lost their season and home opener they are on a three-game win streak. She said watching the Acadia game was tough, but there has been a lot of improvement throughout the team since.
“We’re a completely different team than that first game,” said Taylor. “I remember watching little mistakes that were mental that the girls normally wouldn’t make. I don’t think everyone was mentally there and we needed someone out there to say let’s get going. That was the one thing constantly going through my head on the sidelines during that game; that someone needs to take the reins and push our team.
“There’s leadership out there, lots of leadership out there, but nobody out there was really able to settle us down that game. In the last few games the girls have stepped up and look much stronger out there.”
The X-Women’s next game is in Antigonish on Sunday at 3 p.m. against UPEI. Taylor is excited that her return will be at home. She said that fans should expect to see a much different team since their last home game against Acadia.
“Words can’t explain how we’ve bonded as a team the last few weeks,” she said. “All we were lacking our first game was teamwork. We aren’t worried about our chances at the AUS banner at all. I’m glad our team went through what we have so far this year and have bonded the way we have.
“Everyone will be shocked in the difference between the team they saw against Acadia and the one they’ll see on Sunday.”
On Twitter: @NGNewsChris