Ryan Papenhuyzen details the gruesome extent of latest injury that will sideline him for three months – and how it was the ‘best case scenario’
- The Melbourne Storm star was injured during the finals series loss to Brisbane
- It was initially feared that he had suffered a compound fracture
- Star fullback reveals shopping list of injuries and how it could have been worse
Melbourne Storm star Ryan Papenhuyzen has revealed doctors feared the worst because of someone else’s blood when he was seriously injured for a second time in the NRL final against the Brisbane Broncos.
The electric back was making a comeback after a shocking shattered kneecap he suffered midway through the 2022 season when disaster struck in week one of the finals.
The full-back was attempting a tackle in the 73rd minute when his leg got stuck under teammate Nelson Asofa-Solomona, leaving the 25-year-old writhing in pain.
It was initially feared he had suffered a compound fracture, the same type of injury that ended the career of former representative star Jharal Yow Yeh.
“Can you imagine what’s going through that young man’s mind? He’s been through the wars to come back,” said commentator Dan Ginnane on Fox Sports.
Papenhuyzen’s leg got stuck under teammate Nelson Asofa-Solomona, leaving the 25-year-old writhing in pain
Medics initially feared the Melbourne Storm star had suffered a more serious compound fracture due to blood on his sock
‘If anyone in our game doesn’t deserve this, it’s Ryan Papenhuyzen. Sometimes this game isn’t fair,” Ginnane continued.
“There isn’t a single fan in the game that doesn’t feel bad for this guy.”
Now Papenhuyzen has revealed the full extent of the damage and relief that it was not a compound fracture on the Ausmerican Aces podcast.
There was a little blood on my sock. I think it must have come from a previous tackle
“My ankle dislocated, my fibula broke, my deltoid tore and my syndesmosis tore, just like a little bit of damage at the time,” he said.
“Which I think is honestly the best-case scenario of all the things they threw at the stadium.
‘I think it’s fortunate that it wasn’t a compound fracture, but that it stayed in the skin.
‘But they said they were a bit concerned because there was a bit of blood on my sock. I think it must have come from a previous tackle.
“So I think when they came out, everyone was like, oh well, it’s out.”
Although the injury wasn’t as bad as initially feared, the Storm star faces another long road back.
Papenhuyzen hopes to return for the Melbourne Storm in the 2024 first round despite his latest injury setback
Papenhuyzen’s message to fans on social media and an x-ray of the Storm fullback’s previous knee injury
However, he is optimistic he will be back for the first round in 2024.
“I don’t think I’m sure about a return to the game yet, but I hope I can train in the new year,” he said.
“I think that’s the plan, three months or something like that.
‘It is not a broken kneecap that I am grateful for, but at the same time there is still a major rehabilitation ahead.
‘I’ll hopefully be good enough to go for the first round next year.’
Fans were quick to send more well wishes for the hapless full-back and hoped to see him back on the pitch in 2024.
“I think every NRL fan just wants to see him play and wish him the best in his recovery. One of those players that even opposition fans watch with excitement,” said one.
“All the best to Papi on the recovery, champ,” another added.
The Storm start Friday night’s preliminary final against the two-time defending premier Panthers as outsiders.