It is a horrific injury to suffer, especially on your debut – and it is exactly what happened to Tigers fullback James Tedesco who suffered a ruptured ACL injury, resulting in his being out for the rest of the season.
Since the injury happened a month ago, Tedesco is looking on the bright side, and aiming for a positive 2013 season.
“It was a day of highs and lows,” Tedesco told the Herald in his first interview since the injury. “The first 15 minutes I was feeling comfortable out there making my debut. I thought I was going well.
“I had a lot of family there watching me. I was very excited about it but it all came crashing down. I still enjoyed it and I’ve still got plenty of time for next year. How it ended was very disappointing but what can you do?”
The hype in Rd 1 was all about Tedesco’s start as Tigers fullback, given the huge wraps he had on him coming through the ranks – but after however, Tedesco knew immediately that he had done his ACL.
“When I stepped off my foot, I heard something pop in my knee and I knew straight away it was something serious,” he said.
“As I was getting stretchered off, I felt like it wasn’t too bad, but when the doctor felt it and worked on it a bit, he said ‘Yeah, ACL, it’s the season’. I was pretty upset hearing that. When all the boys came in and asked what was it, and how long, it was pretty hard telling them all. I got a bit emotional.”
John and Rosemary, James’s parents were seated in the grandstand when the injury occurred, though Tedesco was not ready to see them at that time, as they would have been even more disappointed than he was.
My mum and dad were probably more upset than I was. I’m just trying to stay positive and not think about it too much,” he said. “Of course I was upset at the time, but I’m trying to move on and get ready for next year.
“I didn’t really want to see them and talk to them because I knew they’d be just as upset as me. Mum has been pretty upset but always trying to look after me. She’s been home the last two weeks after my surgery looking after me.”
The injury whilst painful, has happened to other players in the past, and Tedesco has received support from some of his Tigers team-mates, who have suffered the same injury in the past.
“As soon as I did it, that night and the day after all the boys were messaging me and telling me to keep my head up and stay strong,” he said.
“Robbie Farah, he’s been talking to me a bit. He did his knee when he was young like me, too, along with Tim Moltzen. He did his knee a few years ago. They’ve both come back bigger and stronger.”