Canberra United player Nicole Sykes calls for a stopage after teammate Sally Shipard is injured during the match at MacKellar Park last season. Photo: Jeffrey Chan
Frustrated Canberra United star Sally Shipard is refusing to let another knee problem ruin her comeback hopes and is confident she can play a major role in the W-League campaign.
The Australian Matildas veteran will take cautious steps in her return, conceding she will miss a planned comeback game against the Brisbane Roar on Sunday because of a mystery left knee injury.
Shipard, a 57-cap Matilda, has been battling knee problems for the past 18 months and has contemplated retirement.
Canberra United veteran Sally Shipard is maintaining a positive attitude although troubled by knee injuries. Photo: Katherine Griffiths
She had hoped to end her injury woes against the Roar at McKellar Park, but instead expects to be on the sideline again.
''I've had a minor setback, which is frustrating … my knee ballooned up a bit and we're not sure why,'' Shipard said.
''The problem is in both of my knees, but the one that is flared up is what I perceive as my good knee. It's had a few days to calm down, but until I can straighten it without pain they're not letting me run.
''It's just another chapter,'' she said. ''It kind of feels a bit weak so I won't push it.''
Shipard's knee troubles first started when she was playing in Germany last year.
She had surgery and the 26-year-old played five games for Canberra last season, but her impact was limited as she played through pain.
Shipard has considered an early retirement but is determined to push on if her knees recover and she can play pain free.
The midfielder will wait until a physio appointment on Friday before knowing whether she will cleared to play against the Roar.
She got through a 20-minute cameo in a practice match two weeks ago, but said the new injury was a mystery.
Canberra has played just two games in the first month of the W-League season following consecutive byes in the past two weeks.
United beat Brisbane in the season opener last month and Shipard is confident the team can continue its unbeaten start.
''The girls have been playing really well, we've got players who can do the job,'' Shipard said.
''We've got plenty of depth … it's going to be a great game and I'm really looking forward to it.''
Shipard conceded the injury frustration was taking its toll. She has been playing for the Matildas for almost a decade.
''It's tricky. A lot of the older generation can't believe I'm still playing,'' Shipard said.
''I was aiming to come back this week but we'll just have to wait and see.''
W-League round 4: Canberra United v Brisbane Roar at McKellar Park, 3pm.