Warning: gruesome imagery and video of the injury in link. Viewers watch at their own choosing.
After suffering a gruesome injury in a Champions League game last season, Eczacibasi VitrA Istanbul’s 29-year old Thaisa Daher, who won gold at the 2008 and 2012 Olympic Games with Brazil, had recently announced on her personal Instagram account that she was ready to return to Turkey after some time off in Brazil to treat her injury.
However, according to Globo.com, in what appears to be a change of plans, Thaisa and Eczacibasi have agreed instead on a contract extension up to 2019, but with the player being able to continue in Brazil for further treatment, and to resume playing for a Brazilian Superliga team when fully recovered on a loan while she waits for Turkish League’s 2018-2019 season.
Her return to the hardwood is projected to happen in early January, which means she would be able to participate in about half of the Brazilian Superliga’s regular season and the whole playoffs. She still hasn’t communicated the press on what team she will join, but did say that she is already studying team proposals. Regardless of her choice, whatever team gets her, even if still out of shape and recovering from injury, adds a two time Olympic gold medalist to its roster, a proven champion, who is still on the prime of her career, as one of, if not the best, middle blockers in the world. As she is currently rehabbing with José Roberto Guimarães‘s Hinode/Barueri medical staff, the same staff that takes care of the Brazilian national team, our first guess is that she will indeed sign with them, probably on request from José Roberto Guimarães to foresee her recovery ideally as he expects her to be in top shape for the 2018 World Championships.
On the other hand, the move, albeit unexpected, makes sense for Eczacibasi. Even if Thaisa fully recovers by early January, the Turkish League is the strongest and toughest domestic league in the world, and having Thaisa practice and play just to get into shape could hinder the team’s chemistry. Instead, she will be at the care of world-respected and renowned Brazilian national team’s doctors, and when time comes, she will be able to get into playing shape in a league that while competitive, is not as rough as the Turkish League. Also, Eczacsibasi’s general management must realize that Thaisa’s psychological recovery is probably going to be much faster if next to her family.