After taking an innocuous hit during a NSW Cup game, Penrith Panthers prop Tim Browne was rushed to hospital.
It was revealed that he had suffered a severe bowel injury that required surgery.
Browne, who has since spent the last six weeks recovering, say he is feeling better.
“Feeling a lot better,” said Browne cheerfully.
“Been about six weeks now post-surgery so getting around.
“Playing with my little girl, going on long walks and eating plenty of food.”
With the injury occurring and all the possible scenarios surrounding it, Browne realised that his footy career was ending.
So the veteran forward made a decision that it was time to close the curtain on his playing career.
“I just don’t think I could do it to myself or my family anymore,” continued Browne.
“Over the last three or four years, I’ve had some really weird injuries; not your common ones.
“I fractured my skull, an infection in my knee where I nearly lost my leg due to a bug in the turf at ANZ Stadium.
“And now this, which sort of made my decision a bit easier.”
No player wants an injury to end their career but Browne knew deep down that it was the right decision.
“I think in my gut, I knew it instantly,” he said.
“When they were wheeling me up to the theatre to be operated on, I said, ‘yeah, no more; I can’t do this anymore.’
“I had to tell the players today and it was a very hard thing to do.”
Still only 30 years old, Browne thought his career would go on for longer but with a young family, they come first.
“I’m only 30 years old and I pictured my career going a lot longer than this,” said Browne.
“But for me, my family is more important than anything else.”
In the end, Browne’s decision was made freely and with relief.
“I love this game and I’ve played it since I was a little boy and I’ve been a professional since I was 19,” said Browne, looking back on his career.
“I’ve found it really hard to come to the realisation that footy has come to an end.
“Like I said before, my family means a lot more to me than a game of rugby league and I’m going to miss it greatly.”
With his decision made, Browne will now shift his attention to his university studies and to his rugby league academy.
“Doing a bit of study at the moment so I might just knuckle down,” reflected Browne.
“I am also running my own rugby league academy outside of football.
“I’ve got a bit of time now to work with the players and spend time on their games.
“I would love to see someone else to experience this journey that I’ve been lucky enough to experience.”