Giants Netball remain undefeated in the inaugural Super Netball season but their 53-38 victory against the Adelaide Thunderbirds in Canberra on Sunday came at the expense of captain Kim Green.
The former Diamonds skipper went down inside the first minute after an innocuous bump left her screaming in agony, with a hush falling over the AIS Arena as Green was carried off.
Green has been instrumental in the Giants' flawless start to the season and spoke with Fairfax Media on Friday about how much she enjoys leading the tight-knit Giants.
Coach Julie Fitzgerald confirmed it was a knee injury which felled Green and admitted the skipper could be out for the season.
"We'll get an MRI back in Sydney but I'll be honest it doesn't look great. My first emotion was for Kim because she is a very tough cookie and was cleary in a lot of pain," Fitzgerald said.
"It's going to be a massive loss [if she is out for the season] but Kim will still be very much involved in our program. I think she's one of the best captains in any sport at any level so she'll continue in that role."
Fitzgerald praised the Giants for not dropping their heads after watching their captain leave the game in pain.
"It was very hard to refocus and get on with the job and it took us a little while but the girls are professionals and work hard for each other," Fitzgerald said.
"Once we got to half-time and had a chat it all came together and in the second half. The girls showed a lot of courage."
In a physical first half the Giants controlled the tempo through shooter Jo Harten (26/35) and goal keeper Sam Poolman to hold a 27-24 lead at the main break.
Adelaide stayed in the contest thanks to some bullet passing from wing attack Erin Bell, but Green's super-sub Taylah Davies combined with Harten to ensure the Giants stayed in front.
The Giants were class personified in the fourth quarter thanks to best-on-court Poolman and ran away with it to mark veteran Bec Bulley's 200th game in style.
"I'm glad we got it but it was a very sad victory with Kim going down, but I'm happy with effort and we pushed on to come away with a good win," Bulley said,
Fitzgerald added: "It is a very special moment for Bec and I've watched her career all the way through, she's a wonderful athlete but also a great person and someone you can't replace."
Thunderbirds captain Bell was proud of her team's effort but said they couldn't match the Giants' intensity over four quarters.
"I thought were going well but in the end everyone just ran out of legs. We need to put in 60 minutes but that was only half a game's worth," Bell said.
"We were going really well in the first half and were disciplined but fell away in the second half, so it's disappointing to let it slip like that."
GIANTS NETBALL 53 (Joanne Harten 26 Susan Pettitt 17 Kristina Brice 10) bt ADELAIDE THUNDERBIRDS 38 (Sasha Glasgow 21 Karyn Bailey 13 Erin Bell 3 Charlee Hodges 1) at AIS Arena.