Lavington champion Matt Pendergast has hinted for the first time his future is uncertain.
The 36-year-old’s ferocious determination is still intact, but he’s only just started running – eight months after the horror broken leg against North Albury.
“I’m hoping to be mid-season now, I was hoping for the start but you’ve got to be a realist, it’s probably not going to happen,” he said.
“Maybe if it’s not this year, it might be even next year.”
One of the league’s most popular players, Pendergast broke both bones in his lower right leg, the fibula and tibia.
“Probably around the six-month period was most frustrating, mentally and physically, I felt like I was plateauing,” he said.
“I was trying to go for a run and my body was telling me no.
“It wasn’t a pain you could push through, it was really slowing me down.
“I went to the surgeon and he said, ‘listen, this has been a major trauma, it’s going to take a lot longer and you’ll know when you’re ready’.”
Pendergast started running this week, but admits it’s more a Cliff Young-type shuffle.
The long-time O and M rep is just three games short of his 300th milestone and that was a driving force early in his recovery.
“It was so disappointing, I was so close, but now if I didn’t play again I’d be at ease with it, I’m not desperate to get there any more,” he said.
“I’d be great to do, but I’m more missing the footy club and being part of it.
“It’s more of a journey for my family, my grandparents and my old man … I’d love to do if for them.”
The tenacious midfielder has only just lost his limp.
“Life’s good now, I’ve got no pain, family’s good, work (as a firefighter) is good, I’m back being a father again without being a hindrance on the house.”
He admits life has certainly changed.
“You never forget that moment, I definitely don’t want to hurt it again, I don’t know where I’d end up if I hurt it again.”
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