After breaking down and rupturing his ACL for the third time during a mid-week training session, luckless Fremantle winger Anthony Morabito has some difficult decisions to make about his future.
After playing a starring role in Fremantle’s successful 2010 campaign, Morabito has found himself stricken by the same severe injury that has established itself as a thorn in the side of the AFL.
The 21-year-old, taken with pick 4 in the 2009 National Draft, has had to watch from the sidelines for the last two seasons while contemporaries, such as Dustin Martin and Nathan Fyfe, have taken the competition by storm.
The prospect of once again missing what would likely be a year of football, watching teammates perform in front of packed crowds at at Patersons Stadium, will undoubtedly be a mental blow to accompany the physical pain.
Both Fremantle and Morabito have decided to go down the route of the controversial LARS surgery having attempted two full reconstructions in the past. It comes after Morabito’s decision to have one more go at getting his troublesome knee ready. If the surgery is successful, he could to take to the field in the middle of 2013.
LARS surgery offers him a conceivable chance of playing football in 2013, but the risk far outweighs that of the conventional method of reconstruction. If he were to go down with another knee injury, Morabito may well have to consider calling it a day. One knee injury usually causes problems in later life for players, but to go through three or potentially even four could cause further concern for Morabito’s wellbeing.
Fellow injury-prone footballers David Rodan and Andrew Krakouer have both held up reasonably well from LARS surgery in the past few years, but leading experts continue to maintain that the reconstruction is fraught with danger and could lead to long-term damage.
With the Dockers having recruited similar speedster Danyle Pearce from Port Adelaide in the free agency period, Morabito also risks redundancy should he have another lengthy spell on the sidelines.
Whilst the football world is unanimous in its sympathy, Morabito himself is the one who has to face an uncertain future in both football and his later life.