Two-time Gerald Clear Medallist Nick Hull says he's not playing football next season.
The East Wagga-Kooringal ruckman will sit the year out to concentrate on work, allow his body to recover and, most importantly, fix the little finger on his left hand.
"I won't be playing at all. I'm just going to have the year off," Hull said.
Hull broke his finger in the Hawks' heart-stopping win at North Wagga in late April. He didn't play for eight weeks. When he did return, it was with a finger pointing in the wrong direction.
Hull headed for post-season surgery and the club remained hopeful he would play a part in their 2020 Farrer League campaign.
But now, football is far from his most pressing concern.
"I've had the operation on my finger which is still no good," he said.
"I've got to go and get another opinion. Or get it amputated. One or the other."
Hull has had a prosthetic knuckle put into the pinky but said the range of movement he's ended up with is at least as bad as it was.
"I've got to get another opinion but there's probably not much they're going to be able to do with it, I'm thinking. So other than that, the only real thing to do is to lop it off at that first knuckle (off the hand)," he said.
"I'd basically lose that finger but 80 per cent of your grip comes from your pinky finger so, yeah, I've got to get that sorted."
Based in Young for work for the past year, Hull also missed a month of football after their second game against the Saints when he was troubled by a nerve problem in his back and legs.
He returned to play a big role in EWK hanging on for a top-three finish, and powering into the grand final with two strong finals victories. However, they went down to North Wagga in the decider.
"I had the finger and then some nerve issues down my legs so I'll take a year off and just work, get myself right and go from there basically," he said.
Hull will be a fourth key loss at EWK after the departures of captain Ben Absolum (Collingullie-Glenfield Park), full-forward Chris Ladhams (SA) and backman Jacob Tiernan (Cootamundra).
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