Brisbane's Hayley Raso ready for back injury return after six months out
Brisbane's Hayley Raso is poised for a W-League return just six months after breaking three vertebrae in her back.
The Matildas winger was felled while contesting a header for Portland in the United States in August and doubted at first whether she would ever walk again.
But the 24-year-old has been named in the Roar's squad to play Sydney FC on Saturday, posting on social media that "I didn't think I'd make it out, but I am so happy to start my next chapter."
Coach Mel Andreatta all but confirmed her comeback after Raso trained strongly on Friday.
"Hayley's doing really, really well," she said. "Her return to play is progressing, getting closer and closer each day and might be a nice little surprise if you're at the game to see her on the park."
Raso posted an emotional four-minute video on Twitter on Friday documenting her rehabilitation efforts, which saw her progress from a hospital bed and wheelchair to the gym and finally the training pitch.
"This injury pushed me to my absolute limits," she tweeted. "This whole journey was an extreme mental and physical battle."
The Roar (5-2-2) can jump ahead of Melbourne Victory into top spot with a win against the fourth-placed Sydney FC (5-0-4).