LUCKY BREAK AFTER TROY’S BRO­KEN NECK

Kyabram Free Press - - FRONT PAGE - By Char­mayne Allison and Oliver Caf­frey

MORE than five weeks after a ca­reer end­ing, and po­ten­tially crip­pling in­jury, Troy Snel­son is still sweat­ing on his fu­ture.

Be­cause he is still wait­ing for the vi­tal ap­point­ment at the Al­fred that will ei­ther clear him for re­hab or spell out what comes next.

Rushed to Goul­burn Val­ley Health after frac­tur­ing the C7 ver­te­brae in his neck at a Kyabram Dis­trict game last month, the cham­pion mid­fielder was sent home three nights later to re­cover.

And he was lucky, very lucky, to be walk­ing out the door and back into his house.

Where he has now spent weeks sit­ting at his Gir­garre home in a neck brace.

“I’m pretty fed up with wait­ing around, to be hon­est. I’m very ac­tive and there’s only so much Net­flix you can watch,” Snel­son said.

“I want to go back to work but there’s noth­ing I can do un­til I have an­other check-up.

“I just want to know where I’m at.”

Snel­son said his body still didn’t feel 100 per cent after the in­ci­dent.

“I still have a bit of nerve da­m­age in my arm – there’s a pins and nee­dles feel­ing that’s al­ways there. If I lift some­thing it sets it off,” he said.

“I can’t even see a physio to work on the pain in my neck and shoul­ders un­til I get this check-up.”

Snel­son, 39, re­mem­bers ev­ery­thing about the fright­en­ing in­ci­dent which forced his early re­tire­ment.

Run­ning into a pack – like he’d done thou­sands of times be­fore – he sprinted for the ball as it spilled out, col­lid­ing with the hip of his Rush­worth team mate Shayne Lynch.

“I heard the crack and then all one side, my right side, went numb and tingly straight away and I thought ‘that’s not good’.

“I braced to hit the ground and I was wait­ing for the pack to come back on me, but ev­ery­one was re­ally good and knew straight away that I was in trou­ble and not to jump on me.

“I could move ev­ery­thing ex­cept my right arm and once I knew I could move ev­ery­thing, I kept checking ev­ery­thing was work­ing okay, mov­ing my fin­gers and toes.

“It was a bit hairy there, es­pe­cially when they were go­ing to lift me up and I prob­a­bly dreaded that the most.”

It was a sur­real ex­pe­ri­ence for Snel­son as he lay in the mid­dle of Gir­garre Re­cre­ation Re­serve – the ground where his club ca­reer started – with fa­mil­iar faces star­ing down at him, con­cerned for his well­be­ing.

❝I heard the crack and then all one side, my right side, went numb and tingly straight away and I thought ‘that’s not good’. I braced to hit the ground and I was wait­ing for the pack to come back on me. It was a bit hairy there, es­pe­cially when they were go­ing to lift me up and I prob­a­bly dreaded that the most❞ Troy Snel­son

THE match was im­me­di­ately called off as train­ers from both sides kept him com­fort­able be­fore an am­bu­lance ar­rived.

Snel­son was part of an un­der-18 premier­ship at Gir­garre, made his se­nior de­but with the Kan­ga­roos and won a McNa­mara Medal as the Kyabram Dis­trict’s best-and-fairest player in 2010.

This time he was on the op­pos­ing side, in Rush­worth colours; a club he also rep­re­sented with dis­tinc­tion, which in­cluded a fa­mous premier­ship in 2004.

Snel­son was not even meant to be out there last month, only end­ing a long break from the game be­cause the Tigers were short on num­bers.

His in­ten­tion was to al­ways re­turn to play­ing at some stage, de­spite se­ri­ous com­pli­ca­tions re­sult­ing from two con­cus­sions while at Nathalia in 2015.

“I got a bleed on the brain two years back after I got knocked out twice in the one game,” Snel­son said.

“I must’ve con­vinced the train­ers I was all right to go back on the ground after the first one, but I got knocked out again and it took a fair while for it to all clear up.

“I got half-keen about play­ing again in the pre­sea­son, but I hurt my knee and I wasn’t go­ing to play that week­end.”

That in­jury was se­vere, but he has used ev­ery bit of his re­silience be­fore to get back out on the field.

Snel­son was placed in in­ten­sive care after he was a pas­sen­ger in a hor­rific car ac­ci­dent in 2000.

He was orig­i­nally cleared of any ma­jor da­m­age, but his sit­u­a­tion wors­ened and he had to un­dergo surgery for a rup­tured in­tes­tine.

Snel­son was play­ing at Ton­gala at the time, dur­ing one of the club’s worst eras.

He went on to play more than 100 games for the Blues, but their only ap­pear­ance in the fi­nals dur­ing his tenure at the club came when he was re­cov­er­ing from surgery.

Suc­cess eluded him early in his se­nior ca­reer, but that was more than made up for later on.

Snel­son was a mem­ber of four pre­mier­ships at Nathalia, with the Pur­ples’ strike-rate once they make Mur­ray Foot­ball League grand fi­nals sim­ply ex­tra­or­di­nary.

“I played more than 100 games at Tonny and didn’t play in a fi­nal and then I go to Nathalia and I play in four flags in about my first 80 games there,” Snel­son said. “They’re a great club, Nathalia.” He said he would be for­ever grate­ful to all in­volved at Rush­worth and Gir­garre for how he was looked after fol­low­ing the ac­ci­dent, while paramedics and staff at Goul­burn Val­ley Health also went above and be­yond the call of duty.

He also has the sup­port of wife Maria and his three chil­dren – as long as he does not at­tempt an­other un­likely come­back.

“If I was by my­self, I prob­a­bly would (play again), but you’ve got think about your fam­ily as well.”

Pic­ture:JULIE MERCER

NET­FLIX OD — Troy Snel­son has had enough of sit­ting around home after luck­ily es­cap­ing a se­ri­ous spinal in­jury.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Australia

© PressReader. All rights reserved.