WASHINGTON, Ill. (WMBD/WYZZ) — There may not be girls basketball player in the area hungrier to start the season than Claire McDougall.

“Honestly, I feel the injury motivated me to work harder in that short time,” McDougall said. “I’m excited to the season. I feel ready.”

She suffered a stress fracture in her foot during the spring AAU season. It wiped out her whole summer.

Instead of playing with her team, her summer was spent working camps, watching other people play.

“I didn’t get a summer,” said McDougall. “I haven’t played a real game since April. I’m very hungry.”

The Bradley signee wasn’t cleared to resume basketball activities until August. She’s healthy now but she admits it was a long summer as she stood on the sidelines and watched her teammates play.

In fact, at one point she was concerned that maybe she’d start this senior year on the bench with her injury.

“I know stress fractures can be something that if you don’t let it heal completely, they can continue to reoccur. I told her we have to think big picture,” said Washington coach Kim Barth.

The Washington coaching staff had to talk McDougall into slowing down her efforts to get back on the court. It finally worked.

“When doctors told me it’s be a two-month recovery and I got closer to three-and-a-half months, I started freaking out a bit,” said McDougall. “That set me off to sit down and take time off to heal up.”

Healed and ready, Claire McDougall is hungry for basketball to start again. Washington opens the season Tuesday at home against Springfield.