Injured Walsh may play on

30 July 2012 / 14:35

Great Britain hockey captain Kate Walsh has had surgery to insert a plate in a fractured jaw but her participation in the Olympics has not been ruled out.

The 32-year-old had surgery on Monday morning but the medical advice is that it should not preclude her from playing, Team GB have confirmed.

A decision on whether she can or not will be taken when it can be assessed how well she has recovered from the operation. Walsh was hit in the face by a stick late on in Sunday night's 4-0 win over Japan in their opening match.

"This morning she successfully underwent a surgical operation to stabilise the fracture with a plate," said a Team GB statement.

"Her recovery from the operation will be monitored and her ongoing participation in the Olympic Games will be reviewed following her return to the athletes' village.

"The injury itself is not expected to prevent Walsh from playing hockey. Her continued participation is dependent on her recovery from the surgery and this will be assessed on an ongoing basis over the coming days.

"She is in good spirits and wishes to thank the hospital staff who have cared for her and all of those who have wished her well via social media."

Walsh, the team's most experienced player, went in for a tackle on Akane Shibata in the closing stages of the game and although she won the ball, her position meant the Japan player's full-bloodied follow-through caught her in the face. She was immediately taken to hospital and kept in overnight prior to her having surgery.

The Reading defender has been an integral part of Danny Kerry's side for many years because of her experience and leadership - she has won 288 caps since making her debut in 1999 and has been captain since 2003.

Her partnership in defence with Crista Cullen has been the solid platform on which GB have built the foundations which have seen them rise to fourth in the world and Walsh has been also a useful option at penalty corners.