A yr that obtained off to a surprising begin for Brisbane Lions star Kate Lutkins is about for a fairytale that may conclude with Sunday’s AFLW grand finale.
Taking part in once more in 2022, not to mention in a deciding competitors, appeared like an nearly not possible activity for Lutkins after she tore her anterior cruciate ligament in January.
The damage occurred early within the first of two AFLW seasons this yr.
Returning anytime throughout that season was not an possibility for Lutkins, and taking part in within the 2022 sophomore season was a shot at greatest.
Nonetheless, the 34-year-old defender defied the chances to return to motion in early October.
And all the celebrities appeared to have aligned for Lutkins, with the Brisbane grand last towards Melbourne being his fiftieth AFLW match and he performed on the Lions’ new residence base Brighton Properties Enviornment in Springfield, a suburb of his hometown Ipswich.
“I am actually proud to be within the last dance on the finish of the season with the women,” she stated.
“It is fairly unbelievable. It is good that it is my fiftieth.
“I am fairly excited to be taking part in right here in Ipswich, which is my hometown, with my household subsequent to me watching.”
Lutkins’ pleasure is combined with emotions of aid and gratitude after a number of “darkish days” throughout his rehabilitation from his damage.
“I have been so fortunate with my restoration from surgical procedure that I’ve had such a terrific crew round me,” she stated.
“There are some women within the workforce who’ve had the identical process, so I actually leaned on them and the workforce and the workers.
“The women round me have been superb, permitting me to play my position each week.”
And whereas such assist has been essential to her comeback, Lutkins – who was man of the match in Brisbane’s 2021 grand last win – would by no means have jeopardized the Lions’ premiership hopes if she felt she wasn’t prepared. to play once more.
“I am actually aggressive and really cussed and I like a problem,” Lutkins stated.
“As soon as the season went on, I wished to do my greatest to return inside this season.
“It has been seven video games and from the beginning I had confidence in my knee.
“In any other case I would not have been on the market and the workers would not have let me return on the market.”
A Lions win on Sunday wouldn’t solely be a becoming manner for Lutkins to cap off his return from damage, however additional reward for Brisbane mentor Craig Starcevich, who was appointed senior coach for the second time this week. yr of the AFL Coaches Affiliation AFLW.
“He is a fairly real human being, Craig,” Lutkins stated.
“He is actually approachable, he is actually good at making small discuss, he is actually passionate and he actually cares in regards to the women.
“He is actually obsessed with caring for them and ensuring they’re completely satisfied and dealing in the direction of a function.
“It provides us that function, and it is simply superb. He places his coronary heart and soul into this workforce.
“What you see is what you get with Craig.”
Initially launched as AFLW Grand Finale: The Fairytale Return of Brisbane Star Kate Lutkins