Panthers' favourite son Matt Pendergast vows to return from broken leg

THE MOMENT: Lavington's Matt Pendergast
screams in agony after breaking his leg
in two places against North Albury.
Picture: MARK JESSER
THE MOMENT: Lavington's Matt Pendergast screams in agony after breaking his leg in two places against North Albury. Picture: MARK JESSER

Lavington favourite son Matt Pendergast has vowed he’ll return.

Pendergast suffered a sickening broken leg in the first quarter of Saturday’s home game against North Albury.

The match was eventually called off 46 minutes after the horror incident and declared a draw after North Albury’s leadership elected not to proceed.

Speaking via text from his hospital bed on Saturday night, the 35-year-old said while he was naturally still on pain relief, his resolve hadn’t changed.

“I’ll be back,” he said.

The enormously popular Pendergast received a raft of messages over the weekend.

“It’s very overwhelming mate, (the support’s) coming from everywhere, (it) means so much,” he said.

Pendergast, who only returned to the club this year after almost two years away with work commitments and a premiership-winning season at Rennie, was playing his 297th game.

“It’s a bit of a kick in the guts to be honest, one of our legends of the club and a ripping bloke,” Lavington president Peter Barwick said.

Pendergast was due to play his 300th game at home against long-time nemesis Albury on the June long weekend.

“We were just going down the path of planning to celebrate his 300th O and M game and obviously that’s not happening this year, hopefully he recovers and we continue on next year,” O and M operations manager Greg Dawson said.

Pendergast had surgery yesterday at Albury hospital.

“The patient broke both the fibula and tibia (in his right leg),” a representative from Albury hospital said.

It’s a bit of a kick in the guts to be honest, one of our legends of the club and a ripping bloke.

Peter Barwick

“It’s always considered a bad break when you fracture both bones (in the lower leg).”

Pendergast was expected to spend a few days in hospital recovering following the operation.