Opals can shine in London: Taylor

OPALS star Penny Taylor won't have a shot at winning gold at the London Olympics, but she has backed her teammates to do it without her.

Taylor, one of the top female basketballers in the world, will miss the Games after tearing her anterior cruciate ligament, an injury which will keep her off the court for 12 months.

The 30-year-old injured her knee playing for her Turkish club Fenerbahce in the EuroLeague and underwent surgery in Melbourne last month.

Taylor has been an integral part of Australian women's basketball success for the past decade, including the 2006 world championship win and Olympic silver medal in Athens 2004 and Beijing 2008.

"Missing the WNBA, missing the Olympics, missing over half the European season, as far as my career goes, it's pretty devastating," Taylor said.

But Taylor believes Australia has the firepower to upstage raging favourites the United States.

"We have some great talent. It'll be a group effort to get things going.

"The USA team is always really strong, strong in every position," she said.

The Opals have been denied gold by the US in their past four Olympic campaigns, losing the previous three finals as well as the 1996 semi-final to the Americans.



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