Injury to forward curtails big year

Season 2011 could be over for South Colac footballer Jake Veale.

SEASON 2011 could be over for transformed South Colac footballer Jake Veale.

The lively forward, who shed a massive 20 kilograms over the summer, will see a physio this week following his second major knee injury in six years.

The 26-year-old was nearing peak fitness on Saturday, playing his first senior match this season after dominating the reserves and booting 13 goals from three games.

But the dream return to Colac district football’s most-improved team was cut short minutes into the second quarter of the Roos’ shock loss against Colac Imperials.

“I received a handball and got tackled, and the guy knocked my knee back and that was pretty much it,” Veale said of the injury.

“I got up and thought something was wrong, so I came off the field and did the groin stretches and the knee went from under me again and I said ‘nuh, that’s it’,” he said.

Despite being his second serious knee injury, there were stark contrasts from the previous incident, the main being that this time around, it was the other knee.

“It was left knee this time,” Veale said.

“The first time I did my knee I was in my second year at South, going for a rebound in basketball,” he said.

“The doctors told me it was all good and then I came back and did it again in a footy practice match.

“But that time I couldn’t stand or put weight on it – this time I can walk but if I turn wrong I collapse so there’s obviously something not right with it.”

Veale visited Corio Bay Sports Clinic where physios said there was a “60 to 70-per-cent chance” he had once again damaged his anterior cruciate ligament.

They instructed him to look after the knee and return later this week when the swelling had gone down.

“I’m not real happy about it. I’m still hoping for the 30 to 40-per-cent chance that maybe it’s only medial or a little tear so I can play footy again this year but it’s not looking good,” Veale said.

“It’s pretty disappointing. I’d lost 20 kilos and I was playing some fairly good football – I’d come back through the twos and was getting a kick and having fun,” he said.

“Then last week I got the senior call-up and after two quarters I might be out for the rest of the year, but these things happen I guess.”

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