If Brazil is to have any chance of finally achieving its coveted World Championship gold medal, the only one missing in its rich volleyball history, it better hope for Natalia Zilio to be in her best shape. Clearly Brazil’s biggest weapon, she has been fighting a chronic tendinitis in her right knee for the last 5 months, which kept her out of the VNL, preventing her from defending her 2016 and 2017 Grand Prix MVP awards. The 29-year-old outside hitter is already back to working on her back-court stills and hopes to be jumping soon (Globo.com):
“I’ll be back in a few days. I’ve recently trained for the first time along with the team. I’m happy, my knee feels good. I am moving well, running, and not feeling anything. That’s a good point. We are confident for the next few days. That’s the most important thing, and I’m very happy, confident.
At first I was very worried, which is normal. I’ve had some traumas in the last few months. I’m happy to be here with the girls and have a chance to play in the World Championship. I am dedicating myself a lot to physiotherapy so that I can recover well. My main concern is not just the World Championship or the next Superliga. I want to recover for the rest of my career, so I can play for as long as I want to. I want to do everything right.
For those who are accustomed to always be active, playing with the ball at all times, it is very bad to be alone in physiotherapy. I spent a lot of time alone, because everyone was on vacation or travelling with the team. So this month with the team already changed my mood a lot. That’s the very good part, I feel good and happy here. I hope everything goes well for the World Championship and that I can be there with everyone.”
Brazil will start its WCH quest against Puerto Rico on September 29. It will then go on to face the Dominican Republic, Kazakhstan, Kenya, and Serbia in Pool D play.