Mikaela Ruef set to leave Canberra Capitals before WNBL finals

Mikaela Ruef is adamant her latest stint at the Capitals has not been "wasted" as she prepares to leave Canberra on Wednesday for an overseas offer.

Ruef will leave with the Capitals' blessing to take up a contract in France having been deemed ineligible for the WNBL finals.

Capitals forward Mikaela Ruef will leave the club to take up a deal in France.

Capitals forward Mikaela Ruef will leave the club to take up a deal in France.

But her departure will be offset by the return of co-captain Kelsey Griffin on limited minutes for this weekend's double-header against the league's top two teams.

Griffin will play up to 20 minutes against the Melbourne Boomers at the National Convention Centre on Friday night, before being assessed again for a road trip to face the Southside Flyers in Dandenong.

However the loss of Ruef still shapes as a cruel blow for the club as the Capitals brace for the road to the finals.

The United States import has spent the entire season on the sidelines waiting for her permanent residency application to be processed by immigration officials.

Ruef has been unable to play as an import with Canadian Kia Nurse and French point guard Olivia Epoupa filling the Capitals' two import slots.

The papers could clear on the day she flies out of the country but it would matter little given Ruef needs to play seven games to be eligible for the playoffs.

"There's no opportunity for me to play here at this point and I want to play," Ruef said.

"It's a good opportunity, it's a good league over in Europe and I like France, so I've been wanting to go back there.

"I enjoyed my time here even though I wasn't able to play. I'm sad to leave, I'm excited to play but I'm not looking back like 'I wasted a year' because I really enjoyed everything about it.

"I wanted to play WNBL this year, it didn't work out. I'm getting a bridging visa so I can leave the country and have it not affect my permanent residency.

Capitals coach Paul Goriss wants to re-sign Mikaela Ruef next season. Picture: Sitthixay Ditthavong

Capitals coach Paul Goriss wants to re-sign Mikaela Ruef next season. Picture: Sitthixay Ditthavong

"Hopefully the residency will come when it comes. It shouldn't take any longer than a year, that's what I've heard back.

Capitals coach Paul Goriss is keen to re-sign Ruef for the 2020-21 season in the hope her citizenship application will be cleared and she can link up with the club as a local player.

This story Capital Ruef set to leave Canberra to take up French offer first appeared on The Canberra Times.