The anguish of a season-ending injury has been captured in painful detail by a photo from Manly star Andrew Davey.
The gritty forward on Saturday night ruptured his anterior cruciate ligament during the Sea Eagles’ loss to South Sydney at Brookvale Oval in Round 2.
He was carried from the field by two members of the Sea Eagles’ medical staff after collapsing on the field and immediately recognising he had suffered a serious injury.
The photos of Davey’s face as he was taken from the field are sad enough.
The image he posted on Wednesday left fans with a sick feeling in their stomachs.
The grayscale image shows Davey burying his head into the chest of a club official after learning the preliminary diagnosis that he had suffered the season-ending injury, just hours after he finally got to make his starting-13 debut for the Sea Eagles.
After moving from the Eels to Manly this season, Davey had been given a fresh start after playing just 10 games for Parramatta last year.
It was supposed to be the moment his career reached its peak after he spent four years playing in the Queensland Cup and another season playing for the Eels’ reserve grade side in the NSW Cup.
It’s why the injury was so devastating for the 29-year-old.
“I’m not really sure how to feel just yet. I’m waiting for it all to sink in and become real,” he said.
“From one mental battle to another. I don’t think this is any different to anything else I’ve overcome to get here. This battle is just between me and my body, I don’t need to change anyone’s mind or prove anything more. Just like those hurdles, I’ll get over this one just as strong as I did the others.
“Everybody suffers a loss from time to time, it’s the person who can overcome a loss and make a success of themselves that’s really doing something special.
“One thing, I’m glad I had one of my best mates there to tell me it was going to be ok and that I wasn’t going to be alone
“Thank you to the (sic) those who have reached out and wished me well the past few days. Friends, family, fans and even people who I haven’t spoken to in a while. The positive support goes much further than you can think.”
Davey is contracted with the Sea Eagles until the end of the 2022 season and will get at least one more season to enjoy in the NRL.