EUROBASKET WOMEN QUALIFIERS
|Slovenia's Tjasa Gortnar has been sidelined with injury while on national duty before, at the U18 European Championship Women in 2010, but that doesn't make it any easier on her|
Slovenian talent Tjasa Gortnar believes the perfect motivation for a quick recovery from her ACL injury will be for her country to book their place at EuroBasket Women 2013.
The 20-year-old who plays her basketball in the NCAA at Georgia Tech suffered the blow against the Netherlands last week and instead of lining up against the Slovak Republic trying to preserve her nation's impressive unbeaten record on Tuesday night, she will be undergoing surgery.
Sadly there was a touch of déjà vu for Gortnar, who suffered a similarly serious knee injury less than two years ago at what was a historic U18 European Championship Women for Slovenia who reached the semi-finals to attain their highest ever finish at a women's youth tournament.
Admirably, despite the very difficult situation, Gortnar was trying to look on the bright side by putting the spotlight on her team-mates who she feels can make the difference to her recovery by continuing their terrific start, which has seen them win all three games so far.
"Unfortunately, this year's qualification campaign has ended early for me," said the forward.
"Although this is a great shock to me personally, the goal remains the same and is still fully accessible.
"The team must always prevail over the individual. I believe that the girls will come together and know how to properly react in this situation.
"Admittedly, it is difficult but should not serve as an excuse not to fulfil the dream of a first appearance at EuroBasket Women," continued Gortnar.
"The players have proven to have a big heart, we have professional staff and the experience and knowledge to continue heading in the right direction .
"Again, this team is able to achieve a historic success."
She added: "I will always be proud to wear the Slovenian uniform and I believe that next time I wear it, it will be next year in France!"
The words will be greatly appreciated by the other Slovenian players who are said to be hugely upset by the bad luck which has struck Gortnar once again.
They would like nothing more than to step out in Ljubljana and record a fourth successive success, not only to continue their march towards EuroBasket Women Qualification but also to repay the faith showed by the young forward.