Matt Gilliman has a long rehabilitation process in front of him after badly injuring his left leg last Saturday night in a trial against Ipswich.
Matt Gilliman has a long rehabilitation process in front of him after badly injuring his left leg last Saturday night in a trial against Ipswich. WARREN LYNAM

Sea Eagle out for a year

NO one on the Sunshine Coast Sea Eagles' list had worked harder over summer than popular 18-year-old Matt Gilliman.

He is out of action for 12 months, however, after sustaining a horrific leg injury in the Q Cup trial match against Ipswich at Nambour Showgrounds last Saturday night.

The young hooker found a hole in the defensive line about 30m out, 25 minutes into the first half, and pinned his ears back.

But with a try beckoning, he was pulled down from behind by two Jets tacklers.

The former Kawana junior said the pain of what happened next was indescribable.

"I felt this massive pain right up my leg. It was the worst pain ever," Gilliman said. "The fullback had me from one side and someone else got me on the other ... all his weight was on my leg."

The youngster was taken to hospital and his dislocated left ankle was not put back in place for several minutes after his admission. X-rays and scans showed he also had a broken fibula and badly torn ligaments in his ankle.

Surgeons at Sunshine Coast Private Hospital operated yesterday, inserting a plate into his leg and a screw to put the tibia and fibula back together where they joined his ankle.

He is expected to have a cast on his leg for six weeks and a moon boot for another six after that.

Needless to say season 2012 is over.

"It's pretty devastating, but what can you do," Gilliman said.

"I'd trained pretty hard. I was really looking forward to a good season."

Not only is rugby league off the agenda. The OP3 student was also set to start studying physio

therapy at the University of Queensland in Brisbane.

Now he will get to experience firsthand the rehabilitation that comes after a serious injury.

Sea Eagles coach Dave Cordwell said everyone at the club had been shocked to learn the extent of the injury.

"He would have captained the Colts side this year, plus I was looking forward to seeing him play a bit of Q Cup," Cordwell said.

"He's a little champion, an exceptional athlete and a really popular lad.

"It's hit the club pretty hard."



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