After the tears, Mahoney eyes quick comeback
Paramatta hooker Reed Mahoney feared the worst when he hobbled off the field just before halftime in the Eels' round 2 win against the Titans.
With his foot injured, he had tried to play on after the break but couldn't put any pressure on the injury.
"I tried to walk on it and I was in a lot of pain," Mahoney, 21, said. "It didn't hit me when it happened.
"At full-time when the boys won, it really got to me. I did break down in tears. You work so hard and I knew there was something seriously wrong with my foot."
Scans revealed Mahoney suffered a "Jones fracture" in his foot.
The first specialist he met with told him the injury would sideline the off-contract Mahoney for 20 weeks, ruling him out of the regular season.
"He said we could leave it but there would be a 20 per cent chance of it happening again," Mahoney said. "When I heard the operation would sideline me for 20 weeks, your whole world ends in front of you."
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The Eels sought another opinion and this time were told a different technique could have him back on the field in 10 weeks. Mahoney underwent the operation just days after learning the competition would be suspended indefinitely.
Now, with the May 28 kick-off announced, he will end up miss just a handful of games.
"It was my first surgery and I was pretty scared to be honest," Mahoney said. "I couldn't comprehend a screw going into my bone.
"It's a bit strange but I'm glad it's done now. If we are back on July 1, that will be about 10 weeks. I've done the calculation. That could give me enough time to be fully recovered.
"It's helped me with my mental state knowing that I'll be spending the next few weeks doing nothing. I got my cast off (last week)."
Mahoney, who is studying a university sports business course, still has access to the Eels medical staff during his rehabilitation.
"It's crazy to think the injury happened at this time. My first injury in my whole life and I was thinking I was going to be out for the season. Now the season has stopped. I guess I couldn't have had a better time to get injured."
Originally published as After the tears, Mahoney eyes quick comeback