The Canberra Capitals will use Rachel Jarry's presence as motivation as they look to claw their way off the bottom of the WNBL ladder in their own "grand final".
Jarry won't play again this season and could face up to six months on the sidelines after suffering her seventh career concussion last Saturday.
But she will join the Capitals in camp for their clash with the seventh-placed Bendigo Spirit as they look to force their way out of last place at Bendigo Stadium on Thursday night.
The prospect of avoiding the wooden spoon looked impossible with the Capitals locked in a horror 13-game losing streak but Jarry is fuelling Canberra's bid to turn things around with five games left.
"???Having her leadership for a tough game against Bendigo [will be invaluable], because it's almost like a grand final for us, we're fighting to not be on the bottom of the table against Bendigo," assistant coach Peta Sinclair said.
"There's a lot riding for us on this Thursday night. We're hoping that having her there will add some extra motivation for the group."
Jarry's concussion held up play for almost 20 minutes and the Capitals stayed on the court in a strong showing of unity as their teammate was stretchered from the venue.
Jarry gave the thumbs up on the way out and Sinclair says her high spirits provided a huge boost when the game was in the balance, and she's already hoping for more of the same.
"It was really hard when saw Rachel go down with that concussion because it's been quite a troubling season for her health-wise," Sinclair said.
"She had the neck brace on and she was in high spirits so I think that really motivated the girls. They all went over and said good luck and wished her all the best.
"She's doing really well from what we've heard so far and hopefully when she comes back we'll be able to consult with the medical staff and see where she's at."
The Capitals ended the second-worst losing run in club history but a look at the margins suggests they haven't been too far off the mark despite a handful of blowouts.
The Capitals have lost five games by less than 10 points this season and Canberra forward Keely Froling says breaking through for a win has provided "a massive confidence boost".
"We've been so close but now we know we can win and we want to get on a roll now and obviously get Bendigo on Thursday night and then focus on Adelaide for Sunday," Froling said.
"[The win was] such a relief for our group because we've been working so hard and we've been so close in so many games so it's just really nice to finally get a win."
???Meanwhile, the Canberra Gunners have retained star players Ben Allen and Daniel Joyce for the 2018 SEABL campaign as they look to end a finals drought.
Thursday: Round 11 - Bendigo Spirit v Canberra Capitals at Bendigo Stadium, 7pm.
Sunday: Round 11 - Canberra Capitals v Adelaide Lightning at National Convention Centre, 3pm. Tickets from Ticketek.