Netball: Silver Ferns shooter Maia Wilson reveals heart issues after second bout with COVID-19

Northern Stars captain Maia Wilson is excited to get back on court, as the ANZ Premiership gets underway this week, but her pre-season has been anything but smooth sailing. 

The shooter told Newshub she's been struggling with heart issues, after catching COVID-19 for a second time earlier this year.  

Wilson was part of the Silver Ferns squad that travelled to South Africa for January's Quad Series, but got her second round of COVID once she returned to New Zealand. 

Despite being asymptomatic and not realising she was positive at first, the virus has given the 25-year-old a hard run. 

"COVID sucks," Wilson joked. "I'm over COVID, it can go away.

"In terms of the long-term effects it has had and on my heart in particular, it's been hard."  

The Stars skipper had to be careful when starting her ANZ Premiership pre-season training and has been restricted on how much she can do. 

"We have really strong support staff, not only within the Stars, but also within the Silver Ferns environment," Wilson continued. "Everyone's, at the moment, on the same page and clear on what my return to play looks like". 

The domestic netball competition has extra weight this year, with the World Cup taking place at Cape Town in July. 

With no time for extra trials after the premiership ends, coach Dame Noeline Taurua and selectors will watch the games extra closely. 

The season runs for 17 weeks, with Wilson hoping to get back to full strength in that time, but she's determined to do her best and knows she wants to be in Cape Town. 

"It has played in the back of my mind - how is this going to impact me for the World Cup?" she said. "I want to make sure that I'm able to be up for selection, and eligible for selection towards the end of the ANZ season and for the World Cup. 

Maia Wilson against Jamaica.
Maia Wilson against Jamaica. Photo credit: Getty Images

"That is my end goal, I want to be in that 12. I know that I'm good enough to be there and that I can contribute in that environment." 

The season begins on Saturday, when Northern Mystics host Southern Steel at Auckland, Central Pulse host Waikato-Bay of Plenty Magic on Sunday at Palmerston North, and with Wilson's Stars hosting Mainland Tactix on Monday. 

That gives her a few more days to make sure she's ready for the opening match - and she believes she is. 

"Hopefully, I can get past all these medical sign-offs, which I'm pretty sure I have this week."