Opals star Taylor out of the Olympics

Opals star Taylor out of the Olympics

OPALS star Penny Taylor is out of the London Olympics.

Taylor has torn her anterior cruciate ligament following a fall during the Women’s Euroleague Championships in Istanbul last month.

She had requested a second round of tests after swelling had prevented a full diagnosis from her initial scans, but the results showed she had suffered the first major injury of her stellar career.

Taylor hopes to have surgery as early as next week and be fit for the 2013 Euroleague campaign.

"I am obviously extremely disappointed at not being available to play with the Opals in London," Taylor said in a statement.

"Playing for Australia has always been my highest priority and missing this Olympics is devastating."

Opals coach Carrie Graf told The Age her side's gold medal hopes were not over.

She said it was time for Australia’s next generation of stars to rise to the occasion.

"There will never be another Penny Taylor or Lauren Jackson, they are legit world superstar," Graf said.

"But we have emerging talent and there is opportunity there for someone to A, make the team and B, play major minutes."

Basketball Australia chief executive Larry Sengstock said Taylor’s loss was a huge blow.

"We are devastated for Penny, as we know how desperately she wanted to represent her country in London," he said.

"You simply cannot replace a player of her calibre and her loss is definitely a huge blow.

"Unfortunately injuries are a part of sport and we are fortunate that Australia has deep reserves of talent from which to draw.

"The loss of Penny, while tragic, creates an opportunity for another player to grab a ticket to London and will only make the competition at upcoming Opals training camps even more fierce."

Taylor’s agent Grant Cadee said Taylor would bounce back from the injury.

"Penny will approach this challenge with the same commitment and dedication that has seen her become one of the worlds very best players," Cadee said.

"She is in the best condition of her career and we all have no doubt that she will be back doing great things again next season."