Injured Wallaby Samu Kerevi is drawing inspiration from legendary center Tim Horan as he begins his recovery from a ruptured ACL.
Kerevi suffered the injury during the Commonwealth Games against Kenya, likely keeping him on the sidelines until April next week.
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The barnstorming center initially thought it was just a knock, shortly afterwards accepting the reality.
“I thought I had cracked a bone,” he reflected to reporters.
“I walked off and felt fine but obviously the doc was having a look at it in the back and said there was no end point from my ACL and started getting head noise.
“I probably accepted what was going on an hour later, whatever the outcome was and obviously the scans showed that I had ruptured it.
“It’s just part of footy and I have no regrets…after speaking to (Suntory, his Japanese club), they’ve been really supportive, they understand it’s part of footy and no one wants to get injured. Hopefully I’m back towards the end of the season.”
It’s the first major injury of the 28-year-old’s career, eager to be fit for the 2023 Rugby World Cup.
In an ironic twist, Kerevi was operated on by the same doctor who did Horan’s knee surgery in 1994, where he tore both the cruciate and medial ligaments in his knee.
Horan made a similar recovery in time for the 1995 World Cup, with the former Red confident he can be back to his barnstorming best.
“I’ve been speaking with a lot of guys who have done their ACLs and they are really positive. I was speaking with Timmy Horan and he did his before the World Cup and the same doctor who operated on him, operated on me,” he revealed.
“Hopefully I get some good luck from that. Peter Myers is a great surgeon and (has been) telling me a lot of stories of boys coming back from ACL surgery.
“I’ve got a lot of confidence I’ll come back fine.”
For now, Kerevi looks to serve as a mentor to a youthful centers group, praising the growth of Len Ikitau as a leader.
“I’m really proud of Len (Ikitau). I see him as my little brother and especially partnering up with Hunter (Paisami), I’m really proud to see their progress,” he added.
“I think Len’s taken a lot more responsibility in that space which me and Quadey (Cooper) demanded from him.
“It’s great to see him stepping into that role comfortably. It’s a great opportunity for ‘La’ (Foketi) to stamp his authority on this jersey.
“We need all of us pushing each other really hard for that jersey because it’s only going to make their combinations better.”