Jayden Brailey’s long road back from horror injury

Newcastle star Jayden Brailey has opened up about the injury that derailed his return to football this year, writing in an article in Voice of the athletes about his horrific Achilles tear during Knights preseason training.

Brailey only recently returned to the pitch after six months away, making a successful comeback against the Rabbitohs in July and playing every game since.

“I had heard in the past that when people do their Achilles they look around thinking someone kicked them and that’s exactly what happened with me” , he wrote in Voice of the athletes.

“It was a pretty hard pill to swallow. We were doing a conditioning game in practice. I went on takeoff to chase the foot and there was no one within 20 yards, but I fell straight to the ground like a sniper had hit me.

“I heard him leave and looked behind me thinking what was going on, then I realized what it was and I was like, ‘oh no, you’re kidding.’

“People who were back in the sheds 30 or 40 yards away feel they heard it go. I know the test where you can feel it so I pretty much knew that before the physio did. confirmed.

It’s not the first time the young hooker has had his season but ended before it started. In 2020, he tore an ACL in only the second game of the year, and ironically the last game before the season was postponed due to the Covid pandemic.

“Sometimes you do all the right things, but the unexpected happens when you’re in the wrong place at the wrong time,” he wrote.

“You learn pretty quickly how important it is to put your health first because you never know what might happen.

“I missed the rest of the year and it was quite difficult, mentally and physically. I had never been in this position before, so I had to learn to deal with all of that. It was not not fair.

“Rehabilitation was a long process. The entire competition was canceled a few days later. I remember thinking ‘why couldn’t it have been canceled a week earlier and I wouldn’t be in this position?’

“I was hoping that at some point they would cancel the whole year so as not to miss any footy, but I’m glad they got back up and running after just a few months.

“The reality of sport is that you just don’t know what’s coming your way. It was a difficult year with isolation and rehab, a very strange time.

I had a lot of time up my sleeve because I was never going to come back that year, so I made the most of it, developing all the muscles around the knee.

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