Ipswich Force captain Jason Ralph sets up an offensive play during the recent QBL match against Sunshine Coast Phoenix. His immediate playing future is in limbo after a back injury flared.
Ipswich Force captain Jason Ralph sets up an offensive play during the recent QBL match against Sunshine Coast Phoenix. His immediate playing future is in limbo after a back injury flared. Warren Lynam

How 'Captain Courageous' is dealing with baffling condition

IT'S a setback that has baffled "Captain Courageous'' Jason Ralph and put his immediate state league playing future in doubt.

And just days after the high of getting married, the Ipswich Force captain is enduring a rare basketball low.

Ralph, 24, is dealing with a bulged disc in his back and nerve trouble up and down his right leg.

In his ninth Queensland Basketball League season, Ralph has never experienced anything like it.

"It's something that has only come on in the last couple of weeks,'' Ralph said of the issues that prevented him playing in last weekend's QBL doubleheader against Gold Coast and Brisbane.

After lining up against Sunshine Coast Phoenix a few weeks ago, his condition became too painful.

Ralph saw the doctor on Monday, being given a nerve block injection for the first time and told to rest.

"It's supposed to give me some relief and shrink the disc that is bulging,'' Ralph said.

Although Ralph said he felt slight improvement this week, he was realistic about his rare injury.

"We've just got to wait and see,'' he said, asked to see the doctor again in a couple of weeks.

"It's just day-by-day, week-by-week for me now.

"It's improving a little bit but not as much as we'd like.''

Named "Captain Courageous'' by Force head coach Chris Riches, Ralph said he was unsure where the problems came from.

"They (medical people) didn't say you got it from this or you didn't do this, or nothing like that,'' he said. "It was just something that come on.

"That's why I'm just taking it pretty easy.

"I played through it for a couple of weeks against South West and the doubleheader against Logan and Sunny Coast but it was just too painful and I went and got a scan.''

As one of Ipswich's most dependable and team-minded leaders in any sport, Ralph is understandably concerned about his plight.

However, he's determined to do whatever it takes to rejoin his team on the court this season.

"I'm not trying to get out too soon,'' he said.

"I'm going to make sure I look after myself and try and get back on the court as soon as possible but also try to stay on the court as long as possible.''

During his illustrious QBL career serving Ipswich, Ralph has only been troubled by an ankle injury and a couple of back spasms. "But nothing like this,'' he said.

With plenty of support around him, the ever-competitive Ralph will cheer on his teammates from the sidelines.

"I'm trying to keep upbeat,'' the former Ipswich Grammar School student and GPS coach said.

"I'm still around the group.

"I'm not doing any rehab at the moment, it's just rest, rest, which is hard.''

 

Newly-married Ipswich Force basketballers Jason and Georgia Ralph will be back playing in the state league this weekend.
Newly-married Ipswich Force basketballers Jason and Georgia Ralph.

Ralph is also maintaining a positive outlook having recently married Ipswich Force player Georgia.

The popular couple have settled at Ripley, having met through basketball and been long-time friends.

Ipswich Force's next QBL matches are against North Gold Coast at Runaway Bay on Saturday.

The Force men are in 13th place with three wins and nine losses.

The Force women are in third with eight victories and four defeats.