Albury's Jocelyn Bartram was in career-best form when she was cut down by injury in the Hockeyroos' recent tour of Europe.
Bartram tore her patella tendon in Australia's thrilling semi-final win against Argentina in the FIH Pro League in Amsterdam.
The Hockey Albury-Wodonga export had been sharing minutes with Rachael Lynch as goalkeeper, but had to sit out the decider.
After finishing locked at 2-2 with the world's number one team, the Netherlands, the Hockeyroos fell 4-3 in a shootout.
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"The last two minutes of the semi-final, I had a really sharp pain in my knee when I went to close down a player," Bartram said.
"I went off for scans the next day and they said I'd torn my patella tendon, so I was out for the final.
"The prospect was that I would play in the final and we'd continue to share time like we had been.
"I love playing against the Dutch team, they're so aggressive and I thought we were going to be a really good match for them.
"It was really good to see the team perform so well, I just got to sit on the bench and cheer them on in the best seat in the house."
Bartram said further scans since returning to Australia revealed the injury wasn't as severe as first thought.
"I hopefully won't be out too long, but it's a tendon so it will take however long it wants to take," she said.
"It's a bit frustrating because a broken bone can heal in six weeks, but hopefully it gets better and stronger and I'll be back before the end of the year."
Despite the setback, Bartram took plenty away from the experience.
"It's been the busiest six months I think we've ever had," she said.
"Finishing off so well and playing in the grand final against the number one team in the world was incredible for the group.
"A lot of great experience and growing happened whilst we were on tour.
"We beat Holland for the first time earlier in the year in Australia and had a strong contest with them in the final, drawing 2-2 and losing in a shootout.
"It's been incredible for the team to get to play against the top-ranked teams in the world consistently, normally it's quite difficult being so far away from them.
"I played 10 or 11 games throughout the tournament against a whole range of teams.
"I think I played every team at least once and played half games each time.
"It's different to a tournament where you go and play for two weeks and that's it.
"Being able to turn up every week was a new challenge and personally I was able to do that and the team was as well."
Bartram is set to miss the Hockeyroos' upcoming trip to Japan, but is hopeful of being back in time for the Oceania Cup against New Zealand at Rockhampton early September.
It will be Australia's first opportunity to qualify for the Tokyo 2020 Olympics.
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