Bendigo Spirit import Kathleen Scheer has been ruled out of the upcoming WNBL season.
The 23-year-old American will head back to the US to rehab a knee injury, suffered in pre-season training with the Spirit.
Scheer had developed tendinitis-like symptoms, but was attempting to play through the injury, recording 18 points and four rebounds against Townsville in the WNBL pre-season tournament at the weekend.
Bendigo defeated Bulleen in the tournament's final game to collect their first piece of silverware in the club's six-year history, but Scheer played only 12 minutes and failed to score a point.
Coach Bernie Harrower said it was extremely disappointing to lose the former Duke University Blue Devil.
"We've been really impressed with Kathleen and it's just devastating that this injury means that she'll miss this WNBL season and will instead be heading home to undertake rehabilitation," he said.
"We were all hoping for the best, but medical advice is that it's a 6-12 week rehabilitation period without the rigours of playing and training at the WNBL level.
We certainly hope this isn't the last we've seen of Kathleen in Bendigo. She's enjoyed her time here and we've enjoyed having her, so hopefully something can work out for the future."
Harrower and the Spirit coaching staff will attempt to quickly find another import to replace Scheer before the season starts on October 5.