PORT Adelaide’s latest bionic man, Brett Ebert, has hailed his “new” knee and says he has no regrets about having radical LARS surgery.
Alarm bells rang throughout the AFL when teammate David Rodan’s LARS ligament shockingly frayed in November – less than 12 months after being inserted in his left knee – but Ebert says he has “100 per cent” confidence his synthetic ligament will remain intact.
“Obviously it was disappointing that David went down but I saw him in hospital that night (of his second operation) and the surgeon who performed our operations (Dr Tony Spriggins) said he was 100 per cent confident with my knee, which was reassuring,” Ebert said yesterday, five days after he made a successful return in the NAB Cup.
“The percentages are in favour of LARS being more successful (compared to traditional knee reconstructions) with five-and-a-half-years of studies proving it, so that will do me.”
Ebert – who snapped the anterior cruciate ligament in his right knee in the round 21 clash against Melbourne last year – said he didn’t have any hesitation in undergoing revolutionary LARS surgery after watching Rodan return to the field within four months of his operation to play the final 19 games of the season.
“I didn’t even really think about it because I’m 28 at the end of the year and out of contract,” the small forward said.
“If I had the traditional reco I was going to be out for the whole year, so I thought I’d give it a crack.”
Ebert kicked a nine-point super-goal with his first kick in his return match against Melbourne and says his rebuilt knee feels so good “it’s like I haven’t even had a knee reconstruction”.
“It’s just an amazing thing,” Ebert said.
“I was back on the bike five or six days after I had the operation and I haven’t looked back since.
“The knee’s going really well and it was great to get through (against Melbourne) on Friday night. “I’ve played three or four trials at training as well and the knee’s been great.”
Ebert, who has kicked more goals than any other current Port player with 206 in 138 games, said he felt like a new player in his comeback match against the Dees.
“It’s the first time since I started in the AFL (in 2004) that I’ve had an injury during the pre-season, so I did feel like a new player going out there and running around,” he said. “I was a bit nervous to start with and it was good to get through the game OK.”
Ebert is on track to play in round one of the AFL premiership season and is setting his sights on playing all 22 home-and-away games.
“I haven’t missed too many games over the years and seeing how David (Rodan) came back last year and played every game (after round four) . . . that would be perfect,” he said.