A shattered Ben Absolum is resigned to missing East Wagga-Kooringal’s entire finals campaign after suffering an Achilles injury.
The inspirational skipper felt a sharp pain in his left Achilles just after halftime in the Hawks’ big win over Marrar last weekend.
Scans have revealed a minor tear where the tendon attaches to the heel and Absolum was told it’s a six-to-eight week recovery, effectively ending his season.
“I was pretty shattered because we’ve got something pretty good going at the moment.
“When I was walking off I was just hoping for the best but I knew it wasn’t good.”
The Hawks are on the verge of completing an unbeaten home-and-away season and will enter the finals as clear flag favourites.
Hawks coach Gavin McMahon refused to rule out seeing the gun midfielder in action in September.
“He’s a definite no for CSU [on Saturday] and the second semi, then we keep everything crossed that if we happen to go further he might be available.”
Absolum, whose wife is a physio, is doing everything he can to aid recovery but is refusing to get his hopes up for an early return.
“It’d have to be a miracle, the way it is at the moment.
“It’s not an injury you can play on, like a shoulder.
“If I come back too early I can do more damage and might need surgery and then I would miss next year.”
It’s a cruel personal blow for Absolum who has played a key role in the rejuvenation of the Hawks after returning to his junior club last year.
They were the first team into the Farrer League grand final last season, only to be overrun by Temora, and have been hell-bent on revenge since.
“You know, I’ve seen him put in so much time and effort over the past couple of years,” McMahon said.
“He’s really been driving the change in culture at the club and he was one of the boys really stung by last year’s loss.
“It’s a tough one for him, but it’s also football. You can’t take anything for granted.”
Absolum is also taking a philosophical approach and said he’s now focused on doing what he can from the sidelines.
“There’s not much I can do about it now. I’ll just try to get around the boys and make sure they’re doing all the right things.”