INJURED Wodonga Raiders defender Matt Neagle could be back running within 10 weeks after miraculously escaping an elbow reconstruction.
After initially being told he could miss up to two years following a sickening clash with Yarrawonga forward Brandon Symes, Neagle received the good news after a third operation on his right elbow late last week.
“I’m stoked,” Neagle said.
“I was looking at a year or two but they put a different rod in with a curve in it during my last surgery in Melbourne and it popped straight back into my elbow.
“I was asleep and they were yanking on my arm and it didn’t come out so it was a great outcome.”
Neagle is a chance to be picked up in the AFL draft on November 22 following a breakout season under Raiders’ coach Daryn Cresswell.
He has been invited to next month’s Victorian state draft combine.
“I’ll have a cast on for a couple of weeks, then an elbow brace for six to eight and then hopefully I can start running in a 10-week period,” he said.
I was asleep and they were yanking on my arm and it didn’t come out ...Injured Wodonga Raider Matt Neagle
“I wasn’t expecting that.
“’Cressa’ has already asked me a couple of times if I can come back and play in the finals.”
Neagle, 20, was thrilled with Wodonga Raiders hard-fought win over Wangaratta in the qualifying final on Saturday night and admits he broke down seeing his jumper in the middle of the playing group while they celebrated the win.
“While it’s good news with my elbow, it’s disappointing not being out there because the boys are in an awesome spot,” he said.
“We’re in our best position since ‘Cressa’ has been here.
“It was awesome watching the video.
“I was pretty emotional.
“I went to training for the first time last night and they were all up and about.
“We’re all really close.”
- Receive our daily newsletter straight to your inbox each morning from The Border Mail. Sign up here