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Will Dakota Kai return from injury in time for the Elimination Chamber in Perth?

Dakota Kai is in a race against time to be fit for the Elimination Chamber which is set to be held in Perth on February 24th, 2024. The 35-year-old tore her ACL in May 2023 and has been undergoing a rigorous rehabilitation program ever since to make the roster for the pay-per-view spectacle Down Under.

Kai’s cult following

The significance of the event for Kai is monumental as she cut her teeth while wrestling in matches in Australia before getting her shot with the WWE. As well as having a dedicated following in Australia, it would, in a way, be a sort of homecoming for Kai with thousands of New Zealanders expected to make the trip across the Tasman Sea to see her wrestle at the Optus Stadium in Perth.

Without question, the former tag team champion is one of the highest-profile professional athletes in New Zealand and even rivals fellow compatriot and heavyweight boxer Joseph Parker for popularity.

When you consider that Parker won the WBO heavyweight championship of the world in 2016 then you do begin to get a better idea of how famous Kai is in the land of the long white cloud.

Of course, it’s worth noting that should Parker beat Deontay Wilder on the 23rd of December in Saudi Arabia then this status quo might change as the boxer would write his name into New Zealand folklore.

In terms of his chances, as things stand, Parker is priced at +400 to win the match in Saudi Arabia against the Bronze Bomber. Any New Zealand boxing fans who want to bet on Parker winning – and in doing so becoming the country’s greatest ever combat sports star, can find a list of the best boxing sites in the country on this site bemybet.com/nz which includes the likes of bet365, Betway, William Hill and 888sport.

This showdown in Riyadh – which is described in detail here at dazn.com, will certainly bring New Zealand to a standstill, much like the Elimination Chamber will on the 24th of February should Kai take part.

The roadmap to recovery

This isn’t guaranteed though even if Kai is optimistic about her chances of participating as a torn ACL usually takes between eight and nine months to heal. This essentially means that Kai will only be given the green light to start training again at the end of January.

From there, a substantial amount of effort will have to be put into rehearsing the events of her match in the space of just three weeks. The itinerary of the upcoming Elimination Chamber and all the important dates surrounding the showpiece can be accessed here at cbssports.com.

Ordinarily, caution could be thrown to the wind to ensure Kai fights in Perth on such a historic evening.

The problem, however, is that Kai can’t afford another repeat of the same injury given that this is her second torn ACL in her right knee in the space of four years. Doing it a third time on account of being rushed back might lead to her career being cut short.

Hard decisions

Admittedly, Kai is in an unenviable position as she has to choose between appearing in the biggest WWE event to ever take place in the Oceania region or prioritizing her long-term health at the expense of the most profound night of her career. There will be millions hoping that Kai gets on the plane to Australia but only time will tell what she decides is best for her.

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