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Sandor Earl’s ACL return boost
SANDOR Earl is gearing up to write the next chapter in the story of his controversial career.
The Sandor Earl story isn’t over. Far from it.
In fact, the best chapter is yet to be written but you can pencil it in for early July.
That’s the time frame set for the winger to make his long awaited return to the game.
Having served his four-year ban for taking and trafficking performance-enhancing drugs, his lifeline from Melbourne was met with disaster when he tore his ACL during a routine training drill.
It was feared his season was over before it even started but not only is Earl on the comeback trail, he’s ahead of schedule.
“He’s progressing extremely well,” Melbourne’s general manager of football Frank Ponissi told Private Ryan.
“The medical staff and performance staff have been incredibly impressed by his attitude towards his rehab. He’s been the ultimate professional and incredibly diligent.
“He’s looking at all those one percenters
“He’s also conscious that he doesn’t want to push it too far ahead and give himself a setback.”
As part of his rehabilitation, the 28-year-old has been visiting trampoline parks to work on his stability. He’s also been doing beach work to ease the impact on the joint.
Earl suffered the gut-wrenching injury in late November and had the knee reconstruction shortly after.
While Earl had every excuse to be down on the game after such a long lay-off, Ponissi said the former Raider and Panther’s attitude towards his recovery has never wavered.
“He was shattered when it happened. That first few hours, he was nearly inconsolable to be honest but he basically walked in the next day and started his rehab,” Ponissi said.
“He didn’t need a week to get over it. He came back the next morning and started work. The attitude is what’s impressed everyone the most.
“The easiest thing would’ve been to sit in the corner and sulk and say ‘why me, why me?’
“If he’d thrown his hands in the air and said ‘it’s too hard for me’, you’d understand but he’s the complete opposite
“He’s been a complete inspiration for all the staff and players.
“When he does come back, whenever that is, everyone will get a lot out of it.”
With July pencilled in for his return, Earl will make his rugby league return in the Intrust Super Cup.
The Storm have two affiliate teams in the Easts Tigers and Sunshine Coast but Earl is yet to be assigned to a club.
While he’s only under contract until the end of the season, Storm officials did discuss the possibility of offering him a new deal after he initially suffered the injury.
“He was training so well up to that injury,” Ponissi said of a new deal.
“Immediately afterwards the initial response was ‘this bloke deserves another year’ but I think everybody’s been so surprised by how quickly he’s come back.
“He’s potentially back in July.
“It certainly hasn’t been ruled out. It’ll certainly be discussed.”