Sydney Roosters hooker Sam Verrills discussed his road to recovery in 2020 as the pre-season approaches and the countdown to a 2021 return begins.
The following piece is written entirely in the words of Sam Verrills, who discusses his ongoing recovery from an ACL injury.
I felt like leading into the week of the game my prep was normal, everything about the game was normal (Round 7, 2020).
I don’t really know what the difference was, nothing felt strange or out of the ordinary.
The circumstances were almost unheard of, just the thought of two players having the exact same injury on the exact same knee in the same game.
When it happened, I was so shocked.
I knew pretty much exactly what had happened straight away, I said to our trainer Travis, “you have to get me off the field.”
We went back into the sheds to do the test to work out if it was an ACL injury.
I can’t wait for pre-season, I just want to get fully fit again.Sam Verrills
What’s going through my head is that you never think it’s going to be you.
You just sit there and think, “it’s fine, it won’t be me.”
As soon as they did the test and it was confirmed as an ACL injury, I was pretty rattled.
It’s pretty devastating, just knowing that the next 6 to 9 months will be pretty intense and not playing footy after that 2019 year is pretty difficult.
In my rookie year (2019) winning the comp, then going over to Barcelona and England and winning over there.
All signs were pointing to a big 2020, but this game can be a funny thing.
It can be either the highest of highs, then the next minute can be the lowest of lows. It definitely rattled me.
Tell you what though, if I could pick anyone to do a knee with, and I don’t ever want to do a knee again, it would honestly be Rads.
He’s picked me up on days, we’ve just gone through it all together.
Having him with me going through it all has been massive for my mental health and headspace to get through it.
He’s a ledge (legend) and he’s been huge in helping me get through it.
The first step was to head straight into surgery.
We had surgery on the same day on the Friday morning after the game, pretty much one after the other.
Looking back now, it’s pretty overwhelming how many people reached out to us after surgery.
Not even just the Roosters boys, other rugby league players were sending us messages with tips and tricks on how to recover better and starting the process early.
It really helped, there was a lot of support.
Our physio Adam Bentley looked after us and treated us really well.
Anyone who’s done an ACL knows that it’s a very slow process.
You have to start everything all over again, even learning how to walk again and going over the basics.
At the 14 week mark was when we were back out there running which was good.
Putting the boots back on definitely felt weird, but it was good.
We’re on a break at the moment, but me and Rads are still putting the work in.
We’ve got a camp in a few weeks which will set our season up pretty well.
I’m really looking forward to that, it’ll be a good test for us.
After that, we’re pretty much straight back into it.
I can’t wait for pre-season, I just want to get out there and get fully fit again.
I know I won’t be heading into that camp fully fit, we’ll have a different schedule to the rest of the boys.
Come Janurary or February, hopefully we’re back out there training with the lads.
Round 1 is the major goal, but if it isn’t then we won’t be too many rounds after that.
As it stands now, everything is coming along as planned.