A torn anterior cruciate ligament is every athlete's worse nightmare, but ACT Meteors spinner Sam Bates may not have been selected for her first international tour without it.
The 22-year-old left-arm orthodox spinner will join Meteors top-order batter Katie Mack in the Australian Shooting Stars squad on its tour of Dubai from March 30 to April 13.
The Shooting Stars - the Australian A women's team - will play four 50-over games and two Twenty20 matches against the England Academy.
Bates will be making her first appearance in the green and gold after an impressive Women's National Cricket League campaign with the Meteors.
The Newcastle product arrived in Canberra as a 17-year-old fast bowler, but was encouraged to take up spin bowling after requiring a knee reconstruction.
"I tore my ACL when I was about 17 and for years my dad had told me to bowl spin, bowl spin, so I finally relented," Bates said.
"I was like, 'I'll give it a go', and it just flew and my career flew.
"I came down [to Canberra] as a pace bowler and developed spin six months later."
While she doesn't bowl with the same ferocity as she once did, Bates still has the occasionally bout of fast bowler's aggression.
"There's always that part where when a batter has hit me for six, I still want to get down there and bowl it as hard as I can. But I have to relinquish and remember I'm a spin bowler," she said.
"I do try to bowl pace in the nets sometimes, but [Meteors coach Andrew Dawson] shuts me down pretty quickly on that one."
Bates is yet to commit to a team for next season's inaugural women's Big Bash League.
With the Meteors not featuring in the Twenty20 competition, she will most likely head to either the Sydney Sixers or the Sydney Thunder.
However, the Melbourne Renegades could be her choice.
"I know it's supposed to be professional, but really I'm just picking the colour I want to play for," Bates laughed.
"It's red, so I could play for Melbourne [Renegades].
"It's going to be great for women's cricket to get it out there more and be aligned with the men's BBL."