Malceski dubbed Swans' Bionic Man - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Malceski dubbed Swans' Bionic Man

By James Dampney 19/12/2008 06:09:05 PM Comments (0)

Swans defender Nick Malceski could almost be forgiven for introducing himself as 'Dr Malceski'.

The 24-year-old's revolutionary knee surgery in February, which kept him out for just three months rather than the usual 9-12 required for a cruciate ligament, sparked plenty of debate in AFL circles.

Many publicly questioned the merits of the new technique known as ligament augmentation and reconstruction system (LARS), which uses an industrial strength synthetic fibre rather than one of the recipient's own tendons to repair damaged knees.

But nearly 12 months later, there is little doubt the procedure was a success and the publicity generated has created an unusual situation for Malceski, labelled the 'bionic man' after the surgery.

He now acts virtually as a medical consultant, with everyone from fellow players to total strangers wanting to pick his brain about the procedure.

"I've had people calling me up, just random people, and I've spoken to a couple of guys who have done their knees and wished they'd (had the LARS procedure)," he said in Sydney on Friday.

"Luke Webster from Fremantle (seriously injured his knees) four times and I was speaking to him and he actually got (LARS) done as well.

"Everything was going well with him until he had a fall at training and ended up doing his cartilage I think, but nothing to do with the cruciate.

"Strangers call up the club, then (Swans doctor Nathan Gibbs) speaks to me and he usually goes along with it, but sometimes I speak to them."

Malceski, who also underwent a traditional reconstruction on his left knee in 2002, insists he never felt the procedure was a risk and would have no hesitation doing it again if required.

"I don't know if it was a punt, but I'd do it again. If I did end up doing my knee again, I'd definitely do it again," he said.

"It's really good at the moment, I couldn't tell the difference between both knees.

"Both are as strong as each other and are feeling really good."

Malceski was an All-Australian contender in 2007 before his knee troubles, plus a calf injury, restricted him to just 11 games this year.

With three months still remaining until the new season, Malceski is already anxiously awaiting round one.

"I'm probably the fittest I've ever been which is a positive," he said.

"I only played 11 games last season so I had a fairly big off-season running-wise and things are going really well."

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