Leinster’s Luke Fitzgerald says he’s unfulfilled as he looks to put the disappointment of last year’s injury stricken season behind him.
Speaking at the launch of the RDS redevelopment plan, the Irish winger recalled his struggles in his mind – lowest point of his looked back on his lowest point when he looked like putting his injury troubles in time to face Toulon in the Heineken Cup quarter-final before another set back.
“It (was) in my mind. Especially when I did it a few times. I remember the week of the Toulon game. I worked my way back into the team, played a couple of good matches before and I did it again slightly in the Munster game after about 20 minutes and couldn’t really sprint after. It was a bit of a nightmare. I had a feeling then but one or two days – they gave me the Monday off and I did a little bit of rehab.
“Went out on the Tuesday, got picked on the team and then it blew up. It was a bit of a disastser. That Tuesday and Wednesday I felt I was banging my head against a wall. ‘I can’t seem to get this right’. Everyone has them at different points in their career when things aren’t going right but you definitely go through those phases where you are in a low enough place, a dark spot and would have had dark enough thoughts I’d say but got to keep fighting and that is the key in all of this.”
Fitzgerald had surgery on both sides of his groin to ease tension and ‘a slice around the tendon’ as well as his lower abs repaired. The winger described the substantial surgery as successful and his rehab pretty straight forward. While he is expected back in September, with a three month expected lay-off, he hopes to be able to beat that while being cautious. But despite the relief that came with the surgery that happened three weeks ago under Gerry McEntee in the Mater, there is the question of whether surgery should have come sooner. Fitzgerald had
“Yes, there is (but) It is done now and move on. The only way to proceeed from here for me in a positive mindset. I’m obviously disappointed not to have something done earlier but in fairness it is a very pernickidy area because there is just so many different aspects that can affect the area, both areas. To a certain extent, I had gotten myself into a good position with the rehab guys and with the physios in Leinster a couple of times and then it just blew up.
“It is very hard to say from their perspective if you got it done straight away would it have helped or not. It looks like it would have now, but we didn’t know it at the time because I was in good condition coming back and then out of nowhere something small happens, a twist and then something blows up and I pull my groin again. It’s done now, going to move on and the best way of putting it is going to draw a line in the sand and get the rehab done.”
Ulster are the visitors for pre-season at Tallaght Stadium while Leinster’s first game of the Pro 12 season is away at Glasgow. Fitzgerald once lit up the provincial and international stage and he hopes he can put the injury behind him with a successful season.
“I feel very unfulfilled with what I feel my potential is and where I have gotten to in my career so far. I do feel definitely a bit unfullfiled but I still feel there is an opportunity for me to achieve all those goals and to achieve my potential. Hopefully as long as I look after my body and it doesn’t break down again, that I will have a chance to achieve all those things.”