He suffered perhaps one of the worst and most painful injuries one can suffer in the game of the NRL just 22 minutes into his first game with the Parramatta Eels, and he credits one man for his rebab and recovery.

Shane Shackleton, who moved to the Eels in season 2010, suffered the horrific injury (tore the hamstring off the bone) in just his first game for the Eels which left both he and Eels fans disappointed.

The front-rower has praised Australia’s world-champion surfer Mick Fanning for his recovery, after Fanning suffered the same injury in 2004, only to come back and win the World Championship in 2007.

It is for this reason as to why Shackleton says that Fanning helped him enormously in his recovery, as both self-doubt, and many long and lonely hours got to Shackleton.

“He’s been a great help, just in giving me good peace of mind early on, which was really important,” Shackleton said.

“He’s been through it and come back to win a world title and that’s given me the confidence that I’ll be OK.

“That’s the big thing because it’s such an unusual injury. It’s good to have someone there who’s been through it.”

Shackleton’s partnership with Fanning began, after it was Andrew Johns who orchestrated for the two to meet, in order to see how to best cope with the injury.

Upon seeing that Shackleton had suffered an identical injury to his, Fanning immediately rang the Eels prop, and sent through a copy of the rehab program he employed for himself to recover.

The injury came at a bad time for Shackleton, as during his recovery, he thought that he wouldn’t be rehabilitated in time, and trying to get his head around just how bad the injury actually was.

Given that he too has suffered the injury, Fanning did see some similarities between both his injury and Shackleton’s.

“At first the docs pretty much tell you it’s over, so it’s pretty frightening,” the surf star said.

“So I just wanted to let him know he could come back.

“I just told him [former Test back-rower] Luke O’Donnell did the same thing and about some AFL players who have all come back firing hard.

“It’s just when you haven’t ridden a wave for so long or played footy it’s pretty scary, but to know you can come back stronger always helps.”

Due to the severity of the injury, Shackleton had to learn to walk again, and he endured a tough 8 months of intense physiotherapy and strength training to get his hamstring  as strong as possible.

In order to determine if he will be 100% fit to play in the trial games for the Eels, Shackleton will have a strength test in 10 days.

In light of his injury, the Eels prop is desperate to repay the faith shown to him by the Eels, and for their support of his injury by the coaching staff and training staff.

“That’s the main thing I want to do coming back, is just wanting to repay the people who have invested in me,” Shackleton said.

“To get 20 minutes out of me in the first game was obviously very disappointing, so it will be good to get back out there.

“I feel like I owe them.”

By ricky

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