Hentschel fights battle of wounded knee - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Hentschel fights battle of wounded knee

By Daniel Brettig 22/05/2009 02:41:57 PM Comments (0)

Adelaide forward Trent Hentschel's latest knee setback need not be seen as a sign he should give up the fight to resume his AFL career, according to his coach Neil Craig.

Hentschel was waylaid on Wednesday by swelling in his right knee, following his tentative return to football via half an SANFL reserves game last weekend.

The flare-up requires arthroscopic surgery to assess and clean the joint, only five weeks after he underwent a similar procedure in the wake of an early exit from Adelaide's round two loss to St Kilda.

It means he will be sidelined for another month at least, leaving him unavailable until deep into the 2009 season.

Appearances against the Saints and Collingwood in the season opener were Hentschel's first games since a horrific knee injury in 2006, but it is clear that there are still problems with the joint despite years of rehabilitation work.

Some might be tempted to call time on their life as a league footballer in such circumstances, but Craig insisted Hentschel could still be a force.

"It is disappointing for Trent, but it's not all lost," Craig said.

"It's not a structural thing, as such, which is good news, but when he really ups the ante he gets a bit of bleeding in there.

"The surgeons are reasonably confident, from what I can gather, that they can still help him, so we'll keep pushing on with it."

From the knee to a spate of soft tissue problems as he re-introduced his legs to hard running, Hentschel has not had it easy, but Craig said he had already recovered mentally from the most recent hurdle.

"He's been through a lot of setbacks, whether it be the knee or soft tissue for a period of time," said Craig.

"Trent was disappointed Wednesday when he had to come off from training, but I saw him this morning and he's ready to go in, start again and see if he can get back in the next four to six weeks.

"He's got great resilience."

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