Gisborne midfielder Scott Walsh knows the highs and lows of football better than most.
Five days after winning the Michelsen Medal as the Bendigo Football League’s best and fairest, Walsh suffered a broken femur when he was tackled in the opening seconds of the grand final two weekends ago.
“I didn’t know it was broken, but I knew something wasn’t right and it was pretty painful,” Walsh said.
“When he tackled me my right knee got stuck under him. All his weight went on that, while my body was being flung around the other way – there was a bit of a pop and a crack.”
The tough 24-year-old was operated on as his team-mates came to terms with a gut-wrenching three-point defeat to Golden Square and he returned home from hospital last Tuesday.
“The operation was all good. (The break) was just below the hip, they put two screws in it to put it back in place,” he said.
“It’s feeling pretty good. I’ve got most movement in it, but I can only put 50 per cent of my weight on it so I’m walking with crutches.
“I’ve got a two-week check-up coming up on Tuesday, just to see if it’s all going well and to see if I can start physio and all that sort of stuff as well.”
Still shattered about the result, Walsh can’t bring himself to watch the grand final, but his spirits were lifted again when he won his club’s best and fairest last weekend.
Honoured to be voted the league’s and his team’s best player in 2012, Walsh said he would give both accolades back to play the whole grand final.
“That was my first grand final appearance in senior footy and I didn’t even make the first contest pretty much,” he said.
“It was definitely a high point at the start of the week and Saturday was a massive low. Then the week after we had our presentation night and it was back up to a high. It’s been high and lows – that’s footy, I guess.”
After two to three months of physiotherapy, Walsh hopes to begin running again about Christmas or early January.
His team-mate Tim Stanton-Smith, who was stretchered off with a broken ankle in the grand final, is being operated on today and could face a similar recovery time.
Walsh attributed much of his improvement which led to him winning the Michelsen Medal this year to a big pre-season and knows what he needs to do to get back to that level.
“I’ve just got to work harder when I come back in December or January. I’ll just have to work harder and do extra off the field,” he said.
“We want to go one better. The last couple of seasons we’ve had a positive season. To actually make a grand final after a few years beforehand – we finished fourth-last (is a good achievement).
“The feeling around the group is pretty flat, but we’re sort of getting back up there.”