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"You can’t jog, you can’t hop on one leg" | Cora Staunton's injury hell

Thom Malone
Thom Malone

21:54 9 Apr 2020

Fresh from being carved into the Off The Ball Mayo Mount Rushmore Cora Staunton virtually dropped by as she remains in isolation having returned from Australia.

The AFLW season was cut short due to the coronavirus pandemic and the evergreen Staunton is thankful for her rural setting to enjoy some fresh air while in lockdown.

The 11-time All-Star returned from a horrific leg break at the start of the year, making an instant impact with a goal on her return to the GWS Giants side in a practice match last January.

Staunton laid out the sheer damage that was done in the injury but says the support of her medical team meant that even in her late thirties she didn't contemplate not returning to action.

"My consultant, anything I said, he agreed with me or said 'yeah, it’s possible'. He probably thought I was mad but he didn't tell me.
"What happened was I broke my leg in three places. I broke my tibia in two places then broke my fibia, then I had a break in my ankle too, so four breaks altogether.
"When it happened the enormity of it probably didn’t hit home," says Staunton but she she just saw recovery as another challenge.
"After the first couple of days in hospital and then getting the outcome, I decided this was going to be another challenge.
"I’m going to hit it head-on and try my best to get back and whether that will happen or not who knows.
"I can’t thank enough the people that I worked with at the (GWS) Giants, we had one of the best strength and conditioning coaches in the competition.
"She decided to take me under her wing and she was going to use it as a challenge for herself as well.
"The physio I was seeing twice a week and the S & C coach six times a week.
"They probably knew the person I was from the two years they had worked with me. Those two never doubted I would get back but there were probably other people who did."

Doubts

When asked if she doubted herself Staunton says the practical limitations of the injury affected her.
"There were probably doubts at times when you can’t do simple things, like walk properly, you can’t jog, you can’t hop on one leg.
'You’d get frustrated and there was a little bit of self-doubt at that time.
"I knew if I put in the hard work and the surgeon was telling me it’s possible to come back then I knew it was possible.
"I knew it was going to be very hard, but I’ve been through injuries before and you get through it.
"Hard work gets you through a lot of different things and fortunately that’s what got me through and got me back on the pitch."

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AFLW Cora Staunton Mayo GAA

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