It’s been a challenging two-month period for SUNS vice-captain Pearce Hanley after a severely corked quad threatened to derail his season.
Hanley had strung together six consecutive games to start the year before a shin injury saw him miss Round 7, then the quad injury struck in Round 8.
It ended what would have been Hanley’s best extended run of football since joining the SUNS in 2016.
With the average cork usually meaning a 1-2 week stint on the sidelines, Hanley’s was severe enough to warrant a six-week break.
In an interview with SUNS Media, Hanley spoke about the process of rehabilitating the injury.
“Initially I played out the (Melbourne) game, I didn’t think it was as bad as it was,” Hanley said.
“But it swelled up reasonably quick after the game and we were a bit worried about it.
“I was sent home and I didn’t get much sleep that night.”
The next day Hanley had an ultrasound done, with the club doctor liaising with a surgeon to seek advice on the best way to drain the fluid that had built up near the quad.
“(The surgeon) went in and vacuumed out a lot of the blood that was already in there,” Hanley said.
“It was a little bit clotted but obviously it was still early so it was still bleeding at the same time.
“When I woke up from surgery there was a lot of swelling as well.
“Then from there I was just on the couch a lot of the time, fully elevated and icing up.”
It took three weeks for the swelling to subside before Hanley could resume training at the club.
“You don’t usually miss too long with a cork but yeah it was pretty bad,” the defender said.
“It was good to be back out there, I felt pretty fit and my rehab went really well.”
Hanley credits the work he put in during the pre-season for helping him return to the field without losing fitness.
“I think that’s why I was able to run out the game on the weekend pretty good,” he said.
“I had a full pre-season and had the first eight games (of the season).
“I haven’t had much continuity since being at the club but hopefully I can finish this year, play every game and then build on next year.”
The team’s next assignment is taking on Richmond at Metricon Stadium this Saturday.
After a promising first half, but disappointing end to the match against Sydney, Hanley said the playing group was determined to put in a collective effort against the Tigers.
“(We just want) everyone playing their role and doing it for four quarters,” he said.
“We’ve had good quarters and we’ve had bad quarters so it’s just putting it together for a full 120 minutes, that’s our main goal.”