Emerging Wangaratta Rovers' utility Jace McQuade has revealed he is playing with the constant threat of his kneecap dislocating in the Ovens and Murray Football League.
The 20-year-old suffered the nasty injury in the third quarter against Yarrawonga a fortnight ago, but was able to play on.
"That's the third time it's happened in two years, so I'm used to it by now," he confirmed matter-of-factly.
That's the third time it's happened in two years, so I'm used to it by now, It goes out but when I hit the ground and straighten my leg out, it went back back in.- Jace McQuade on his left kneecap, which has dislocated three times
"It goes out but when I hit the ground and straighten my leg out, it went back back in.
"It's not too bad, the first time was hard, but it doesn't do much damage. I strapped it a fair bit last week, but it didn't help."
Of course, Rovers' coach Daryn Cresswell had the sport's most famous dislocated kneecap in 1997 when he, unforgettably, banged it back into place during a game for the Sydney Swans.
McQuade was quizzed if the pair trade 'war stories'.
"(Laughs) I can't complain too much about it, I don't have to bang mine back into place," he quipped.
McQuade's issues might not be as confronting as Cresswell's heroics, but it still takes great courage to play on.
"How good was Jace McQuade? He played on (Yarrawonga's Brandon) Symes and kept him quiet," Cresswell enthused about the lightweight utility after Rovers' comeback win over the Pigeons a fortnight ago.
McQuade is 192cms, but only 80kgs and given regular ruck Shane Gaston has missed some football,, he's been forced to give away a stack of weight to opponents.
"I prefer fullback, I'm not a huge fan of the ruck, but you just have to do a job," he explained.
'I try to use my leap as much as possible and avoid the wrestle.
"My role changes, sometimes I'll get a player, other weeks I'll have to fill in and do the ruck work."
Rovers have won their past three games to sit outside the top five, on percentage, and will travel to Wodonga on Saturday.
The Bulldogs' season is on the line at one and four, with history showing few clubs have ever played finals after a one-five start.
They must find more goals as they average only 59 points over the five rounds and posted just seven majors against Yarrawonga last week.
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