Webster in bid to resurrect AFL career - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Webster in bid to resurrect AFL career

By Justin Chadwick 04/07/2008 03:42:26 PM Comments (0)

Just 91 days after a knee injury threatened to end his career, Fremantle's Luke Webster will line up in the WAFL on Saturday in a bid to keep his AFL dream alive.

Webster underwent the same radical knee surgery as Sydney's Nick Malceski when the popular Docker ruptured the anterior cruciate ligament in his left knee for the third time on April 5.

Given that he was in the final year of his contract with the Dockers, Webster knew it was his only choice if he was to add to his 33 AFL games.

The revolutionary surgery, which involves using an artificial ligament instead of grafting tissue from elsewhere in the body, cuts the usual year-long recovery period down to about three months.

Webster will play for East Perth against East Fremantle on Saturday and said he was confident his reconstructed knee would hold up to the rigours of competitive football.

"I definitely feel ready to go. This time (the recovery) is a lot shorter obviously and I have not had the wastage in the leg (muscle) when you do it the other way," Webster said.

"Obviously there are always going to be those nerves in the back of your head ... but I feel just as confident coming back this weekend as I have with the last couple."

Webster, 26, has been in constant contact with Malceski during his recovery period.

Malceski returned to the Swans line-up in round eight just 87 days after his reconstruction.

However, Webster was unsure whether their fast-tracked recovery would convince others to undergo the same procedure.

"It has been great to have Nick go through this process before me to be able to bounce things of him, but I have not really thought that my story is going to change the way footy goes," Webster said.

"But it would be great if we can hopefully both get through this year and a lot of guys ahead if they do happen to do their ACLs they can go down this path and I would really recommend it if it is available to them."

Last month Fremantle coach Mark Harvey said Webster would be given every opportunity to break back into the side should his WAFL form warrant a return.

"The main goal I set myself was to play some sort of footy this year and hopefully play some good footy, get some good form and hopefully the rest will look after itself," Webster said.

"I have had that taste, 33 games now, and I really want to build on that and I think I have still got a lot to give Fremantle and the AFL."

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