Walsh set to leave hospital

31 July 2012 / 19:37

Great Britain hockey captain Kate Walsh is expected to be discharged from hospital and return to the Olympic village on Wednesday after surgery on a broken jaw.

The 32-year-old defender will spend a third night in the Royal London Hospital merely for observation purposes but should then rejoin the team.

"Kate is progressing really well. We are relatively optimistic she will be back in the village tomorrow, although that is not 100 per cent confirmed," said coach Danny Kerry after his side's 5-3 win over South Korea.

"The surgeon has said that basically now her jaw has titanium plates in it it is stronger than it was previously so there is no medical risk to her playing. The real issue is her recovery from surgery and people react to general anaesthetic in different ways and that is currently what we are monitoring.

"The other issue is the level of pain and whether that can be kept under control."

Once Walsh returns a decision has to be taken on whether she will be fit enough to participate in the rest of the Games, with GB potentially having another five matches should they reach the semi-finals.

The Reading defender, who has captained the team since 2003 and is their most experienced player, is likely to want still to be involved and watched today's win from her hospital bed.

But Kerry said the final ruling would be made by him after consultation with his staff. He added: "It will be my decision and it will be based on performance and welfare.

"I suppose welfare is the most important thing. The surgeon is very adamant that there is no medical risk. He thinks he's done a really good job - surgeons would say that - with a straightforward operation.

"I won't take a decision on my own, we have great staff and so we will have people contributing ideas and we'll use the experience of those people and listen hard. We will fitness-test Kate to see how she reacts to having to work hard and whether she is in pain. Time will tell."