Unlucky Webster stands aside at Freo - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Unlucky Webster stands aside at Freo

By Justin Chadwick 27/08/2008 08:00:24 PM Comments (0)

Fremantle's Luke Webster has thrown his full support behind the radical knee surgery both he and Sydney's Nick Malceski underwent despite announcing his time at the Dockers had come to an end.

Webster revealed on Wednesday he would not be seeking a contract extension with the AFL club, saying it was time for him to stand aside so the Dockers could focus on promoting youth.

The 26-year-old has endured a torrid run with injuries, suffering three ruptures of the anterior cruciate ligament in his left knee and one in his right.

The latest occurred on April 5 this year while playing for his WAFL side East Perth.

In an attempt to keep his AFL dream alive, Webster threw caution to the wind and underwent a procedure known as LARS (ligament augmentation and replacement surgery), which uses an industrial strength polyester fibre to repair the damage.

Webster made a successful return to WAFL ranks just three months after suffering the injury but his hopes of an AFL recall were derailed when he required further surgery to fix damaged cartilage in the troublesome knee.

"In my own mind I was really happy with the way the surgery went and to get back and playing in 91 days was really good," Webster said.

"So if I was going to suggest (anything) I would say, yes, it worked well for me.

"I had the little hiccup with the cartilage damage which, talking to the surgeon, was unrelated to the surgery I had. It was another little bit of bad luck.

"But I would recommend it (LARS) and I was really happy with the surgery and the way it went."

Webster, whose career has been left stranded on 33 games, didn't rule out attempting a comeback with another AFL club.

"At this stage I haven't decided," Webster said.

"I'll just wait and see what sort of options do come up and then I have to decide whether I want to play footy again or pursue a different role in footy."

Webster rated his 2003 AFL debut in Fremantle's three-point victory against the all-conquering Lions as his fondest memory.

"It was amazing to run out there," said Webster, who also featured in three of Fremantle's four finals.

"I started on Nigel Lappin and then moved onto Simon Black and Michael Voss and those types of guys, and you are sort of in awe of them."

Fremantle coach Mark Harvey paid tribute to Webster's mental strength.

"To see him fight back through four reconstructions, it will certainly hold him in good stead for life after football ... he'd never carried himself like a guy who'd been through that," Harvey said.

"Luke's been a pleasure to work with from a coaching aspect because you didn't have to ride him about preparation or mental toughness because he already had it."

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