BOSS Moanaroa may still be recovering from a partially severed finger but it wasn't enough to stop the Toronto baseballer from getting back on the field and keeping his Olympic dream alive for 2021.
Moanaroa, a former New Zealand international who has more recently represented Australia, had the top of his left ring finger reattached at hospital and was in danger of being sidelined for this season's national league.
He suffered the nasty injury in a household accident earlier this month, cutting himself with a knife while preparing apples for his two sons.
However, following a COVID-19 delay to an already condensed campaign, the Canberra Cavalry batsman returned in time to line up in the opening two rounds and hit home runs in each game over the weekend.
"A couple of days before I went down to Canberra I held a bat to see how it was because I hadn't been able to do much before that," Moanaroa said.
"I was happy our Perth series [December 18-20] had been called off because it gave me some extra time for it to heal up.
"I'd tried to swing with a diffferent grip, but it didn't really work.
"We travelled down Christmas night and before the game started I was a little bit nervous, nothing baseball related just wondering how the finger would feel.
"To be honest though, once I was out there I didn't think about it at all. In my head I'd been really prepared. I was so relaxed and at home and comfortable."
A decade-long veteran of the Australian Baseball League, the 29-year-old is now in his second stint at Canberra having first donned the Cavalry uniform between 2015 and 2018.
Outside a recent cameo for the Central Coast Marlins in the NSW Baseball League, Moanaroa hadn't played since the last ABL wrapped up almost 12 months ago with Newcastle's senior competitions cancelled in 2020 because of the coronavirus crisis.
"I really enjoyed the time off over winter because I've gone from season to season for a while now," he said.
"But I started to get the itch a few weeks out from the start of the [ABL] season and I knew I was ready. It was great being back out there and I had an absolute blast."
The Cavalry recorded mixed results against the Melbourne Aces in Canberra, winning 8-4 on Saturday but going down 8-2 on Sunday.
Upcoming fixtures with the Sydney Blue Sox have been postponed because of the latest COVID-19 outbreak.
The left-hander and first-baseman remains focused on trying to make Southern Thunder squad for the rescheduled Games in Tokyo, which are set to start on July 23.
"The Olympics are a goal in 2021 and I want to make a push for that team," he said.
Meanwhile, Belmont South pitcher Lachlan Wells started for the Blue Sox in their second outing but twin brother Alex is now being rested after he was recently named in Baltimore's US major league roster for next year.