Northern Stars have had a great start to the ANZ Premiership season, sitting atop the ladder and indicating they have what it takes to claim this year's title.
Their rise comes despite a tenative start from talented goal attack Jamie Hume, who's still recovering from the biggest injury she's ever faced.
Hume's had a huge weight lifted off her shoulders this season, particularly her left shoulder.
The Stars goal attack dislocated it a few seasons ago and it's caused ongoing issues since.
"It would go during games, it would go during warm-ups," Hume told Newshub. "Sometimes, I would just have to play on and not tell the physio, but it was always in the back of my mind.
Last season, Hume played with the shoulder heavily strapped, but admits it reached a point where she was screaming in pain at training, prompting her to go ahead with surgery last September.
The 26-year-old knows it's put her on the back foot for July's Netball World Cup, but is staying focused on the white-and-purple dress for now, rather than the black one.
"To be able to get on court now is my main priority and if that comes as a result, that's sweet," she said. "I can't do much about it, I just have to keep moving forward.
She's already proving the surgery's paid off. Hume started the season on limited minutes, but has now worked her way up to a full workload.
Coach Kiri Wills believes it's her dedication which has helped her recovery.
"She's left no stone unturned," said Wills.
That confidence has helped Hume play with freedom, instead of fear and fight for her spot on court.
"We've got a good side and it's going to be hard to get back on court," she admitted. "I'm just working my way in, taking it slow and doing the best that I can."
If Hume's current form is anything to go by, we're only going to be seeing more of her, perhaps even in black.2023-03-24T05:49:36Z dg43tfdfdgfd