Canberra Capitals player Michelle Cosier suffered a broken nose after clashing with an opponent. Photo: Melissa Adams
The pain was worse than giving birth to her son but less than a week after breaking her nose, a determined Michelle Cosier will forget about the bruising and aches to help the Canberra Capitals finish their season on a high.
In a remarkable display of courage, Cosier will play against the West Coast Waves at the AIS Arena on Friday night if she can get a custom-made facemask in time for the last round of the WNBL season.
But with just eight fully-fit players, Canberra coach Carrie Graf revealed she would consider ending Brigitte Ardossi's club-imposed suspension early to ensure her squad isn't at a greater risk of injury.
Cosier was trying to get a protective mask made for her on Tuesday night after she was left bloodied, bruised and dazed when a stray elbow broke her nose against Bendigo last weekend.
It was a ''clean break'' at the top of her nose. Cosier wanted to play the next day against the Bulleen Boomers to help her teammates.
Graf and Capitals staff told her she wouldn't be playing to avoid further injury and, because she was dosed up on painkillers, Cosier slept through most of the Boomers match.
But with a mask on its way, the veteran has no hesitation throwing herself into a clash with the Waves and insists she won't be holding back even if some pain is still there.
''It was the worst pain I've ever been in … even after childbirth,'' Cosier said.
''I'm a bit cautious of blowing my nose and I haven't sneezed yet so that hasn't been a problem.
''The only person that's going to hit my nose is [son] Brodie, he's the one I've got to watch because he jumps in the bed and gets excited.
''If I don't get a knock on it, hopefully I'll play this Friday and then we'll see what happens but even with the way I play this is the first time I've broken my nose.''
Cosier has been in the league for 12 seasons and is one of the most tenacious players in the WNBL.
However, she has struggled with injuries in recent seasons and was determined to play out the year.
Injuries to Lauren Jackson and Mikaela Dombkins as well as Ardossi's suspension after her unsportsmanlike foul have left the Capitals down on troops.
They had just eight fit players against the Bulleen Boomers last Sunday and Graf admitted she could give Ardossi a reprieve.
The Capitals suspended Ardossi for the last three games of the season after she tripped Townsville's Rachael Flanagan. The WNBL tribunal suspended her for only two games.
But with some players carrying injuries, Ardossi may be added to the squad to take on West Coast.
''We haven't had any discussions [about Ardossi], but if we don't have many players we would certainly have to consider bringing her back because we don't want other players at risk of injury because of extra strain,'' Graf said.
''It's a balance of all the factors. As a club we made a decision, the league tribunal made theirs. For us it's not about the wins or losses, but going into a game with a reduced number of players, it's not appropriate.''
Cosier is prepared for some pain should she be knocked against West Coast.
She didn't train with the team on Tuesday night and will not be allowed on to the court unless the mask is made by Friday.