No solo Marianna Tolo: Capitals plan to manage WNBL star's comeback

Canberra Capitals centre Marianna Tolo will be limited to just 20 minutes in her comeback from injury if medical staff give her a clearance to play.

The WNBL all star has recovered from a foot infection and is set to be available for the Capitals' round-two clash against the Townsville Fire on Sunday.

Marianna Tolo will give the Canberra Capitals a giant boost for round two. Picture: Sitthixay Ditthavong

Marianna Tolo will give the Canberra Capitals a giant boost for round two. Picture: Sitthixay Ditthavong

But the Capitals will manage Tolo's workload at the start of a hectic nine months, which will include a back to back title bid, Olympic Games qualifications and dreams of winning a gold medal in Tokyo next year.

Tolo hasn't played a game since April, foot surgery halting her pre-season preparations and then having her return delayed by infections.

Tolo and Kelsey Griffin were named in a 19-strong Australian Opals squad this week for a pre-Olympic qualifying tournament in Kuala Lumpur from November 10-18.

Both are being eased back into WNBL duties after injury setbacks in recent months, although Griffin was still named player of the week for a dominant round-one performance.

Capitals coach Paul Goriss will juggle their work loads to avoid burnout, as well as making sure his two key players are in peak condition for Opals duties.

"Pending training going well this week, I'm hoping to play this weekend," Tolo said.

"It's a big relief. I hoped to be back a lot earlier, but this is how it is. I'll definitely challenge myself, the only way to get better is to get out there and give it a crack.

"I've got responsibilities for the club but at the same time I have to look after [my body] and my longevity. I'm fortunate to have Paul Goriss as the Caps' coach and Opals assistant.

"We're doing what's best. For me, I need to get court time, that helps me in my preparation for Tokyo. It's not just about resting, I've got to get out there and play."

The Capitals started their season with a win last week despite an interrupted preparation. Tolo missed the week-one win, while Mikaela Ruef is still waiting for immigration documentation to allow her to play.

Tolo was excited to make her return in a new-look Canberra side and the looming battle against one of her former teammates, Abby Bishop, at the National Convention Centre.

"You want to get as many wins as you can early and it's important to try to take that upper hand when teams are trying to find their feet."

This story No solo Tolo: Caps to manage star's comeback first appeared on The Canberra Times.