Keely Froling turned to her teammates with a suspected broken nose and uttered six words: "I am in so much pain".
But Canberra Capitals coach Paul Goriss knows "she's tough as shit" - which is why she can drain an overtime winner with strapping tape wrapped around her head and almost covering her eyes.
The Capitals have reignited their title defence in a thrilling 76-75 triumph over the Melbourne Boomers in front of 1302 at the National Convention Centre on Friday night.
The hosts looked a shade of the side that dropped consecutive games to the league's bottom two sides as they dragged the second-placed Boomers into a dogfight.
Froling resembled something more like a Mortal Kombat character as she drained two overtime shots after being busted open in a collision in the dying seconds of regulation before Canberra levelled the scores.
Her showing under pressure is a welcome sign for the Capitals as they await the return of Kelsey Griffin from her latest injury setback. But it could bring with it another injury worry for Goriss on the road to the finals.
"I thought [Froling's nose] was going to be broken when I saw the blood and her holding her nose," Goriss said.
"I was talking to the four girls on the court and all of a sudden she's with me with a mask on. I was like 'she's obviously going back in'.
"She's as tough as shit. That's the thing you love about her. You live through some of her bone-headed errors and some of her mistakes because, literally, she is as tough as shit.
"That's the way her family rolls, that's the way she is. What she did in overtime for us was huge, with some offensive rebounds and some points.
"Just to be able to do that seeing over a mask was unbelievable and really inspiring to our group."
It was Kia Nurse who put an indifferent shooting performance behind her to send the game into overtime with a finishing performance fit for a player of her stature.
Nurse struggled to find her rhythm for the bulk of the contest before hitting four of her last six shots to finish with 7-22.
Capitals guard Olivia Epoupa - who posted a game-high 16 rebounds - found Nurse to level the scores at 66-apiece with 1.4 seconds left in the game to ultimately send the contest into overtime.
But to say they wouldn't have even found themselves in such a fortuitous position if not Marianna Tolo wouldn't be too wide of the mark.
Tolo posted 22 points at 69 per cent to go with nine rebounds to bury a forgettable fortnight heading into a clash with the ladder-leading Southside Flyers on Sunday.
"We all have been through the wars in the past couple of weeks ... we knew we wanted to come into this game and give it a red-hot crack," Tolo said.
"It definitely lifts the weight off our shoulders. Southside are top of the table, so the pressure is on them really.
"They've just lost Jenna O'Hea, a big piece of their team, so we'll look to play the way we do and it'll be a challenge, but we're ready to step up."
Boomers young gun Ezi Magbegor fouled out of the contest late, but it was an unsportsmanlike foul on Sophie Cunningham that left Boomers coach Guy Molloy "bewildered".
"I'm honestly bewildered by the end of the game, we'll go back and have a look at the tape," Molloy said.
"I'm not going to say anything else because I can't, but I just don't know."