'Crazy, stupid, brave': Marinoff pushed through injury in finals campaign

ADELAIDE midfielder Ebony Marinoff has revealed she played the final five matches of the Crows' season seven despite a syndesmosis injury.

The three-time premiership Crow had never missed an AFLW game, and was determined to continue her streak despite sustaining the injury in round nine.

The 25-year-old pushed through the pain, and went on to play the remainder of the home-and-away season and Adelaide's three finals.

Seven Seasons On: What brought Ebony Marinoff to tears?

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The former deli specialist has come a long way, and the emotion of looking back packs a punch.

After learning that she could continue to play injured without compromising her long-term health, the five-time All-Australian made a deal with the Adelaide medical staff.

"The deal was that if I was to pass the fitness tests, then I'd be allowed to play," Marinoff told the club's website.

"Doc (head coach Matthew Clarke) thought I was absolutely mad but I guess we were on the same page to push me through.

"It might've been crazy, stupid, brave, whatever you want to call it to continue playing, but I don't regret it because we nearly got there and I wanted to be on the park with my teammates."

Cathy Svarc tackles Ebony Marinoff during Brisbane's clash against Adelaide in the 2021 AFLW Grand Final. Picture: Getty Images

Adelaide's premiership defence ended in the third week of the finals series, falling to familiar foe Brisbane in the preliminary final.

Despite the tough and physically taxing way Marinoff plays her footy, the operation is the first time she's gone under the knife.

Doctors had been hopeful her injury would resolve with rest, but a few weeks in a moon boot weren't enough.

Chelsea Randall (left) and Ebony Marinoff pose for a photo at the AFLW Season Seven W Awards on November 22, 2022. Picture: AFL Photos

Marinoff said she was devastated by the prospect of surgery and subsequent recovery.

"I just cried, I still get teary now, it's so hard," Marinoff said, seven weeks post-surgery.

"I remember it so clearly, the surgeon said I wouldn't be able to fully train for three months and all these things went through my head.

"I just kept thinking 'am I ever going to get back to my best?'

"I had never had surgery, so those first couple of weeks weren't fun but I'm slowly getting better."

Marinoff said her recovery was progressing well, and she hoped to return to full training by March.

"As soon as I could, I was back in the gym, working my upper body, then when I could move around again, I was in the gym at the club making sure I was getting all my range back," she said.

"I spent a lot of hours on the watt bike (indoor bike) in my moon boot, rehabbing every single day and then got the moon boot off just before New Year's.

"I've been back running for about a week and a half, it's feeling really good and we are turning a corner which is nice after a pretty tough month.

"My goal is to be bigger, better and stronger after this setback and I can't wait to hopefully reach that goal."