PORT Adelaide knee victim David Rodan has revealed he went into “selfish mode” upon learning his left knee would undergo a second bout of LARS surgery within 12 months.
Set to play within four weeks after going under the knife in November, Rodan – anything but selfish around fans and media – wondered if he was cursed.
Despite undergoing three knee reconstructions – he had conventional surgery while with Richmond in 2005 – the 27-year-old has faith in the procedure.
“Initially, there was no word for it,” said Rodan, who re-injured his left knee in a seemingly innocuous training drill.
“I felt really dark and was a bit selfish, went into a selfish mode and thought ‘how can it happen again?’ I wanted to know the finer details, but I couldn’t find out until later in the day, so I had mixed emotions, hoping for the best, but I had to wait for a scan to be done.
“Then when I found out what it was, for the first day I was pretty much at home sticking around the family and trying to stay as positive as I could.
“As the day went on, I felt that being through it last year, I could convince myself to be positive and that I could do it again. Now I’m very confident I can come back and do it all again.”
One of a handful of AFL players – including Sydney’s Nick Malceski – to undergo LARS, Rodan didn’t hesitate when asked whether he wanted to give the nylon fibre-based procedure another chance.
“Definitely,” said Rodan.
“I’m not prepared to sit a year out and I’m very confident with LARS and Dr Tony Spriggins, my surgeon, has been great support as have the medical staff down here (Alberton).
“We’ll go through it all again and hopefully it will be a bit better this time, because we’ve been through it once before.”
Dr Spriggins told Rodan one of the strands of his reconstructed ligament had frayed, but that it wasn’t caused by loose bone.
“He couldn’t pin-point it, but that’s the risk you take (with LARS) being so new and radical as well,” said Rodan, who played 19 AFL games last year after his first bout of LARS.
Despite the surgery’s uncertainty, Rodan is gaining confidence from watching the progress of Port team-mate Brett Ebert, who underwent LARS after hurting his knee in round 21 last season.
“We’ve had plenty of chats, especially about the knee,” said Rodan.
“He’s flying and doing really well. All of the doubts he did have, he’s working it out on the track. Seeing him run around and taking some big marks that he used to take before the injury has been confidence-building for me too. Hopefully I can come back in the next few weeks.”
Listed to return within three to four weeks on the club’s injury list, Rodan is unsure if he will resume with SANFL club Norwood.
“That’s what we’ve still got to work out,” said Rodan.
“Last year was a good-case scenario, everything pulled up well and went to plan. The second time around, we’ll have to suck it and see.
“So far so good. My training is increasing as the knee is feeling good. So we’ll see how I recover from that and then proceed forward.”