Marianna Tolo's short-term Opals hopes are in tatters and a foot infection has her locked in a race against time to be fit for the WNBL opener.
Tolo will miss Australia's clash with China at the AIS Arena on Thursday night and the ensuing FIBA Asia Cup campaign after picking up an infection following minor foot surgery.
The 30-year-old was already working overtime to be declared fit for the tournament beginning in India on September 24.
The infection will rob Tolo of the chance to play in front of her adopted home crowd this week and left her at home while her would-be Opals teammates gathered at the AIS for a team camp.
Tolo will instead set her sights on the Canberra Capitals' WNBL season opener against the Adelaide Lightning on October 13.
"Fingers crossed. It could be doable. That's what I'm hoping for," Tolo said.
"I'll start running next week and we'll see how that goes. It's a bit too early to tell how the next couple of weeks will be, but I hope to progress quickly anyway.
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"I did some swimming as part of my rehab and I think it wasn't quite ready for that. It took a while, I started getting sore and I noticed it started getting a bit red.
"I went to the doctors at the AIS, and they checked it out and said it was infected."
The Opals will play at the AIS Arena for the first time in six years when they face China on September 19 - a rare occurrence given home games are few and far between for Australia.
Their return to Canberra has been a long time coming but Tolo's absence means there will be no Capitals on the court against China.
"Definitely [disappointed], especially because it's in Canberra," Tolo said.
"It's still great for the Opals to be here in camp and to have the game here. I'm sad I'm not able to be a part of it but I still get to watch a bit of camp and watch the game."