Eagles' Waters ruled out of 2009 season - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Eagles' Waters ruled out of 2009 season

By Justin Chadwick 20/03/2009 07:23:13 PM Comments (0)

West Coast's horror injury curse of 2008 has continued into the new year with premiership defender Beau Waters ruled out for the entire season due to a career-threatening elbow injury.

Waters revealed he feared his career was over after two operations on the elbow he dislocated last June failed to work.

The 22-year-old travelled to Sydney last month to undergo a third, more intensive round of surgery, where grafts were taken from his hamstring and inserted into his elbow in place of the medial and lateral ligaments.

Waters initially hoped the third operation, which he said was like a total knee reconstruction but for the elbow, would allow him to play in the latter half of '09.

But he scrapped those plans when his surgeon advised him he was at risk of causing further damage if he played this year.

Waters has been placed on the club's long-term injury list but the Eagles are yet to promote a rookie to take his place on the senior list.

"I was concerned about my elbow at the time of the (third) surgery and was concerned it might not get back to 100 per cent, so with that in mind I wasn't really thinking about weeks or months, I was thinking about career," Waters said on Friday.

"The extension and movement is going to get back to almost 100 per cent, if not 100 per cent, so with that in mind it's a far improvement on where we were at.

"The injury originally was the dislocation which stretched the lateral ligament.

"The first two operations we tried to repair the lateral ligament.

"On this occasion we've replaced the medial and lateral ligaments with a graft similar to an ACL/PCL, therefore the graft's actually becoming a part of the elbow, and strengthening it takes a little bit longer.

"It's just one of those things, similar to an ACL, that needs rest."

Waters, snared with pick No.11 in the 2003 national draft, has played 61 games for the Eagles and was a vital cog in their 2006 premiership triumph.

His absence is a bitter blow to West Coast's hopes of climbing up the ladder this year after their injury-hit '08 campaign yielded just four wins.

And to compound the Eagles' woes, swingman Adam Hunter is still troubled by pain in his reconstructed shoulder and will have to be carefully managed throughout the season, while prized recruit Nick Naitanui won't be available for selection in the early rounds after undergoing off-season knee surgery.

Waters, who may be able to resume running and some light skill duties next month, said he was eager to take up a matchday role during his time on the sidelines as well as develop his leadership attributes.

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