Moltzen's on the mend and cannot wait to get back on paddock

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Battling the o-nothing demons: Moltzen's on the mend and cannot wait to get back on paddock
June 28, 2010

In the second part of an occasional series charting Tim Moltzen's return from injury, he tells Glenn Jackson about the anguish of not playing.

Sydney's unpredictable winter weather and the bucketloads of rain that has come with it, can be useful in ways other than breaking drought.

''I've been able to run a bit from the house out to my car if it's raining,'' said injured Wests Tigers playmaker Tim Moltzen. ''I suppose that's somewhere to start.''

Moltzen is midway through his recovery from a season-ending injury - an anterior-cruciate ligament tear.

It is an injury suffered by players every year in the NRL, but what is not always seen is the mental scarring that comes with the physical tearing.

That is something Moltzen has found more painful than anything he suffered on the field against North Queensland in round five.

''It's a really difficult injury to deal with, not so much the pain of it, but you wonder why a ligament could keep you out for so long, where a broken bone could still see you back within four weeks,'' he said.

What Moltzen has also questioned in recent weeks has been his decision to undergo a full knee reconstruction, rather than more risky surgery, where the ligament is reattached using synthetic fibres rather than the body's natural healing mechanisms. That procedure led to Cronulla winger Luke Covell returning to football earlier this month after suffering a similar injury just a week before Moltzen.

''It's hard to sit there and look at that, but it's the long-term thing for me,'' Moltzen said. ''I think he just wanted to get back into it. It's hard to watch him come back and play, knowing he's already back out there and I'm still a fair way off.

''It was always my decision. I spoke to a few people. Although that had been talked about, there weren't that many people out there that had done it, especially in rugby league.

''I didn't really want to be experimenting with something, being only 21 and having a contract until the end of 2012\. I thought I'd be best off to get myself right and come back when I can. I've made my decision and I'll try and move on.''

Moving on, obviously, has been somewhat difficult. After surgery in April, Moltzen went back to his parents' home on the central coast in the days afterwards. His mother, a nurse, cared for him as he lay on the couch for two days, watching television - but not football.

The first time he brought himself to watch the NRL after surgery was when his team played Penrith in round seven. ''That was a different side of things because I've never really watched footy like that with mum and dad before,'' he said.

It also showed him what he was missing. So instead of going on holidays, he tried to do as much as he could within the club.

''I wanted to be in there amongst it as much as I could be, try and be a part of the club culture at training,'' he said. ''I just wanted to get straight back into things. I didn't want to sit around and ponder what could have been or what might have happened if I didn't have the injury.''

Two weeks after surgery, he began upper-body weights training. It was difficult. Footballers always talk about how tough the pre-season is, but even that does not compare to long-term rehab. The pre-season offers a finish line in the form of round one, but for many players in rehab, there is no finish line. That said, Moltzen has felt swift improvement.

Moltzen was 81 kilograms after surgery, but has built himself back to 88kg. In the next few weeks, he will attempt to run on the training paddock rather than out of the garage. Through all the ups and downs, the hardest times come when his side is on the field - and Moltzen encountered his most challenging moment last Sunday during the Tigers' win over Canberra at Leichhardt Oval.

''You sit opposite that hill and you see what you're missing out on,'' Moltzen said. ''It hits home when you're at the games … That's been the biggest thing for me - mentally - not being part of the team.''
 

tigeress

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Oct 12, 2009
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South Burnett Qld
Thanks Willow for the info re Tim's recovery ! I hope he can keep the faith, and I'm sure he will be back on the field before seasons end ( if we manage to scrape into the finals)- he would very much deserve to be there.
 

Paris_Cobbs

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Jul 13, 2009
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Paris, France.
Yeh, thanks Willow. My crystal ball says that Tim will run on off the bench in the last round vs the Titans and score a try after ten minutes, off a long no-look Benji special.
 

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