Diamond Liz Watson ruled out of Super Netball season through injury

The Diamonds have been thrown a curve ball with Australia's likely next captain Liz Watson to miss the Super Netball season after foot surgery.

Watson captained the Australian national team in three of the four Tests in the recent losing Constellation Cup series against New Zealand, with new coach Stacey Marinkovich still to decide on a permanent skipper.

Long-time leader Caitlin Bassett captained the side in the other match.

But star mid-courter Watson was surprised to learn she required surgery on an ongoing foot problem, with the injury ruling her out of Melbourne Vixens' 2021 title defence.

The navicular bone injury had been managed, but had continued to deteriorate.

"I was really enjoying the pre-season and looking forward to playing in Melbourne again this year," Watson said.

"This news came as quite a shock but speaking to the surgeon it was clear that this had to happen now for me to get back out there and play."

Watson co-captained the Vixens to the 2020 championship, which they played in Super Netball's Queensland hub.

The 27-year-old will remain a part of their squad this season in an internal leadership capacity, with the club yet to name a replacement.

Marinkovich said she the loss of Watson was a huge blow to the Diamonds.

"We are obviously devastated with Liz's injury. She is an incredible player and has been an integral part of the Diamonds for some time now," Marinkovich said

"She is an absolute professional and I know she will use this time to continue to evolve herself as a player in different ways and, when the time is right, will return to the court."

With no upcoming Test match series dates confirmed, the Diamonds coaches and staff will continue to track and support Watson's recovery before making any decision about her place in the squad.