Ridin’ high in April. Shot down in May, or something to that effect, in the case of 2015 Brownlow winner Nat Fyfe.
Doctors have told him that the bulging disc in his back will have to be managed for the rest of his career. The Fremantle player will doubtless experience the issue for the rest of his life.
A doctor with the AFL compared the bulging disc in Fyfe’s back to a tube of toothpaste: once squeezed out, it cannot be put back in. That rather graphic description has rather negative implications for the 24-year-old midfielder. A tackle of the wrong sort of landing the wrong way can make matters worse, but the doctor, Peter Larkins, went on to say that caution and a proactive approach to rehabilitation would permit Fyfe to continue on with his footy career.
Anyone who has seen Fyfe play, however, would be quite accurate to observe that caution does not seem to suit Fyfe’s on-field modus operandi. He played with a broken leg against Hawthorn in the preliminary final, so it would seem unlikely that a bulging disc would convince him to abandon his style.
Back injuries can be difficult for anyone to rehab, let alone for a footy player accustomed to laying it all out on the ground.