Hooker Matt Ballin on track for Wests Tigers NRL comeback in 2017



  • Hooker Matt Ballin on track for Wests Tigers NRL comeback in 2017
    FEBRUARY 14, 20178:45AM

    Matt Encarnacion
    AAP

    WESTS Tigers veteran Matt Ballin is banking on a traditional knee reconstruction to not only allow him to come back from his second ACL injury, but even stave off retirement.

    After first tearing his anterior cruciate ligament in 2015, Ballin underwent a more radical form of surgery that included the replacement of his torn cartilage from that of a corpse. However the former Manly rake lasted just three competitive games last year before suffering a repeat of the injury, which then wiped out the remainder of his first season at Concord.

    “Sometimes these surgeries work and sometimes they don’t. Last time we did everything possible to give the knee the best chance to heal, but it just didn’t heal,” Ballin said.
    “The first one was a cadaver, so a donor Achilles tendon. It’s a bit of a newer operation.
    “It’s supposed to take six months to get back. This one was a patella graft. It’s maybe a better success rate — I don’t know — but this one seems to have healed well so far.”

    The conventional method now has him racing the clock to be fit for the club’s season-opener against South Sydney, however Ballin concedes he may need more time.
    He has already ruled himself out of their final trial against North Queensland on Saturday, leaving youngster Jacob Liddle and new recruit Matt McIlwrick to share the hooking duties.

    Liddle is also battling to face the Cowboys as he deals with a shoulder injury.
    “I won’t be playing this weekend, but round one or two, that’s the goal,” Ballin said.
    “At the moment I feel really confident with it so it’ll just depend on availability and what they want to do. The conservative road would be reserve grade and then first grade after that.
    “It’s not really with the knee, I think it’s mainly the confidence of playing footy and performing on the field the way you want to. For me, the knee feels really stable.
    “I’ve done pretty much everything — I’ve been tackled, had my legs pinned, been tackling people, running the ball — so there’s no issue with the knee with that.”

    Should everything go to plan, the off-contract 33-year-old hasn’t given up of earning another contract and playing on in 2018.
    “I’d love to play on. I love footy. I’d play as long as I could,” he said.



  • Allowing players to have surgery with body parts of dead people? Outrageous! What poor management.



  • Unbelievable he has barely played any time for us and would like an extention!Our management is so poor i would not be surprised if they do it.



  • Surprise surprise, we have the first admission that Ballin is not going to be fit for the start of the season. At this stage if we get 10 games out of him over the two years of his deal (even scoring 2016, extremely charitably, as two games) I’d be surprised.



  • Poorly written article…. Title misleading and the par suggesting Liddle will replace him also misleading


  • Banned

    @jirskyr:

    Allowing players to have surgery with body parts of dead people? Outrageous! What poor management.

    There have been heart transplants from about the time when the Maggies had Noel Kelly playing for them. We hope they would not take a heart out of a living person - you would have no heart to do that? (except the one in your hand).

    If Ballin’s knee does come good I still think he should be retired so he can have a decent knee for his reminding long life.


  • ForumSupporter

    We can rebuild him. We have the technology. We can make him better than he was. Better, stronger, faster.



  • This position is going to bring us and Taylors career at the Tigers undone.



  • As an organ donor, can you stipulate that an NRL club has exclusive rights?



  • @jadtiger:

    Unbelievable he has barely played any time for us and would like an extention!Our management is so poor i would not be surprised if they do it.

    Did he actually play three games?
    I thought he started two and got the new injury halfway the second.



  • @Geo.:

    We can rebuild him. We have the technology. We can make him better than he was. Better, stronger, faster.

    😲



  • @goldcoast tiger:

    @Geo.:

    We can rebuild him. We have the technology. We can make him better than he was. Better, stronger, faster.

    😲

    no thanks that would make him the 6 million dollar man! We would never get him under the cap with that price tag.



  • what about bionic knee replacements! we could supe them up so he can hurdle 10 meters in the air over the defensive line. just give JT the remote. I’m sure Hazler is looking into this, after his cows blood experiments.



  • @jirskyr:

    Allowing players to have surgery with body parts of dead people? Outrageous! What poor management.

    They tried using the living but they all objected. Except for one guy who said it was always his dream to be inside another man!



  • @Gary Bakerloo:

    As an organ donor, can you stipulate that an NRL club has exclusive rights?

    True supporter, you could have tendons ligaments and organs go to the players and get your ashes chucked onto the field for a goal kicking mound


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