Hendi has no cast on, he has a 4"-5" scar on his right arm and is hopeful of getting back before the season ends
Talk about the men in white, and everything Ulster!!
I have my own tv channel, what have you got?
Is the world Cup the end of the season or start of a new one?
Bloody contact lenses again. He should just wear glasses at this point.Deraless wrote:Bobby's looked like an eye injury, maybe that counts as head? Maybe it's the lesser 7 day one?
I have my own tv channel, what have you got?
It was in the moments immediately after his horrific leg break almost two years ago that Ulster’s Will Addison thought his rugby career was over.
At that stage, the 31-year-old wasn’t long returned from a serious back problem that had kept him out of the game for 15 months. Indeed, that fateful evening against the Lions in October of 2021 represented just his eighth game since regaining fitness, seven in provincial colours and one for Ireland.
Occurring as it did when his leg was caught beneath a player tackling not him but team-mate Dave McCann, and all after the whistle had gone, the freak nature of the fracture to his tibia and fibula only served to reinforce the idea that if the former Sale man didn’t have bad luck he’d have no luck at all.
Carted to the seclusion of the Ravenhill tunnel, the five-times capped Irish international faced up to another long spell on the side-lines – although at that point he had no idea just how long it would be – and wondered if he could do it all again.
"I remember straight afterwards just thinking, ‘yep, that's me done. Finished,'" he said.
"There was this one big flash of ‘Do I really want to keep doing this?’
“My dad happened to be over for that weekend, my wife was next to me, and I was really emotional.
“I’d just came through such a big injury, done really well to get back from that, and then to get hit by another one straight away at a time when I felt like I was building towards something, I definitely thought that's enough.
“The emotions are obviously running high at that time. A couple of days later you rethink those sorts of things.”
It’s in those initial days and weeks that Addison likens a serious injury to grief. As he moved through the stages, part of the recovery process involved watching the incident back.
"Whenever I've had an injury, I always say it's like a period of mourning. I remember watching it back on video, listening to some of my friends, like Besty (Rory Best) and Mark Robson on commentary, talking about what I'd been through and getting really emotional.
“I don't know whether it's an ego thing, wanting to hear what had been said.
“But I think there was something sub-conscious about it that I needed to do to get over the initial bit of it.
“Obviously at that stage, that's mourning. But if you keep in that mindset, you'll go down a dark path quite quickly.”
Will Addison looks forward to inspiring Ulster to success as he prepares to return from a long injury absence
Surgeons told Addison that the timeline of his injury could be anything between six to 18 months, a huge difference between best and worst case scenarios before one even considered the potential complications.
And true to form, Addison had plenty of those.
“With my injury, it wasn't a hamstring tear where you could say two to six weeks or even an ACL where nowadays you know that's six to nine months," he said. "Because there's so many of those types of injuries, you have a decent idea of how quickly you can come back from them.
"I remember someone saying 'you're lucky you broke your leg rather than doing your ACL.' Honestly, I'd have done my ACL ten times over rather than that.
“In the early stages of the fracture, you've the risk of compartment syndrome, whether the bone will heal, whether the metal work that's been put in is going to take, there's loads of questions.
"And it turned out that mine was much more complex. Initially it was quite smooth sailing, but we hit a couple of big, big obstacles. When those obstacles hit, you're left thinking 'is this a message?'
“I came through a year's rehab and was pretty much ready, September 2022, I was fairly sure I'd be back but as we pushed on the rehab towards its end stage, like getting near to a rugby pace, I started to feel the bone ache again. It got to the point where it would be at the start of a session rather than the end and for me that was a red flag.
“Back to the surgeon, and it was decided that the way that the fixation had happened, the bone hadn't had the best chance to stabilise. Essentially a year down the line, the way it had fixed, it wasn't where it needed to be to play.
"We had to have a second operation to put more metal work in to stabilise it which was successful but, unfortunately, as is the risk with any surgery, I got an infection and off the back of that, had to have something called a PICC line put in, and nurses or doctors reading will know what that is, but it's a temporary IV line, and off the back of that, I got a blood clot.
“When I broke my leg on October 15th 2021, if you’d said then that I'd have had all those complications. you'd have had to be unbelievably unlucky.
“In hindsight, if things had happened perfectly, I'd have been back in a year but obviously it wasn't. We had three big hurdles to get over and everything got nudged a fair way down the road.
“It ended up being 18 months, and by the time I play my first competitive fixture, it will be bang on two years, but I was technically ready to go in 15-18 months. We've been really unlucky at times but the support that I've had to help me over those big bumps in the road, has been first class.”
With the end finally in sight, Addison made a try-scoring return against Connacht in an ‘A’ fixture two weeks ago and is already eagerly anticipating his first competitive run when Ulster travel to Zebre for the URC curtain-raiser next month.
Will Addison is looking forward to rolling back the years in an Ulster shirt
Given what he has gone through in his five seasons in Belfast, managing just 31 appearances for Ulster and Ireland, Addison admits there will be some that won’t believe his injury woes will ever be fully behind him but knows there is nothing more he could have done to get on the field.
"I'm not fussed about the tag of being injury-prone,” he said. “It's something maybe other people want to give me.
"But from my point of view, through my 12 years as a pro player, I've put everything into it.
“I'm quite self-critical so I'll often think what I could have done differently and through most of my injuries, there's not a whole heap I could have done differently, maybe just the way I trained when I was young.
“I played 60 games for Sale before I was 21. I had a couple of injuries at Sale, but I played another 50 or 60 games after them and captained the club.
“Over here, I'd a fairly decent first season before the back injury at the end of it. There are always ifs and buts that you could do things differently but, as a player, it's in the DNA to be 100 percent committed. Maybe if I wasn't like that, I wouldn't have had the injuries, but I wouldn't be the player I am either.
“And breaking your leg, a couple of back injuries, those are out of your control.
“If people want to say he's injury prone, that's their prerogative. I've been unlucky but there's no question of what I've put into it, I know I've given everything.”
Will Addison still harbours ambitions of wearing an Ireland shirt once again
As Ireland prepare for this weekend’s key World Cup game against South Africa, it is easy to forget that Addison was a part of the squad as recently as July 2021, the last of his caps coming against the USA.
Surely to see what Andy Farrell’s squad have achieved of late, and may go on to achieve next month, has made the spell on the side-lines even tougher to stomach?
"Number one, I love watching Ireland because they play the best brand of rugby in the world," Addison said. "That's pretty cool to watch. “To know I could have been a part of it, I could look at it and say 'oh, I wish I was there, how unlucky for me.'
“Or I can say 'how lucky I was to have that opportunity and if I put my nose to the grindstone, maybe I can get back in there.'
“That's a much more positive way to look at it rather than to think 'jeez, if luck had gone my way...'
"That's getting you nowhere. That's the way that I look at it.
"I'm loving watching them. They've had an unbelievable two years, series win against the All Blacks, Grand Slam in the Six Nations, going into a World Cup in a really good spot, not letting the pressure of the number one ranking impact the way they play. You can only get excited watching that.”
Should this group go on to break Irish Rugby’s World Cup glass ceiling they would play a semi-final on the same weekend that the URC season begins.
After 36 years of trying, a place in the last four would be treated like the only show in town, the less glamorous domestic action certainly taking a backseat.
For one Irish international though, one who has been waiting for so long just to take the field, Parma will instead feel like the centre of the rugby universe.