Baker ready to put best foot forward after surgery
RUGBY LEAGUE: Gladstone's Chelsea Baker is feeling fresh and reinvigorated after recent ankle surgery and is ready to put her best foot forward ahead of another NRLW season with the Brisbane Broncos.
One of Brisbane's stars during their 2018 Premiership season, Baker's pre-season was interrupted due to ankle surgery in July which meant she had to ease into training which started on August 12.
The club's leading points scorer with 38 last season, Baker will line up in her familiar position of fullback for Brisbane's opening game of the season against the Dragons on Sunday at Parramatta's Bankwest Stadium.
Raring to go after surgery, Baker was forced to take it easier than she would have liked following a clean up on her right ankle.
"Coming off surgery it was a very slow return for myself," Baker said.
"I really had to take it slowly - I didn't want too because I wanted to get straight out there and run around with the team - but obviously I had to listen to the physios and doctors' advice so it took me longer than I wanted.
"Now that I'm fully back and have been for a couple of weeks it's made things a lot easier and I'm a lot happier about it all.
"I'm about six weeks post-surgery - it was a clean-up as I had five bone chips floating around in my ankle as well as a large spur on the front of my leg bone at the base, so it was impinging and locking my ankle so I couldn't really run properly."
Despite undergoing an abridged pre-season, Baker said the new-look Broncos squad has prepared well under new coach Kelvin Wright.
"He's been really good. Coming into the pre-season not knowing much about him and not having been coached by him before there was a few nerves and worries about it all," she said.
"But all of that was washed away within a few training sessions. He's fantastic and really knows what he's on about and I rate him highly."
The 33-year-old said Brisbane was keeping season expectations under wraps for the moment, purely focusing on themselves.
As for her hair colour, Baker said she'd be sporting "a version of orange" this season instead of a mostly pink hairdo on display in 2018.
Sunday's match kicks off at 2.05pm.