Port ruckman reveals his 2022 injury hell

    The Port Adelaide ruckman had played the previous day for the Magpies in the SANFL against Woodville-West Torrens in July.It was his first game since he dislocated his shoulder in April, in the round 4 loss to Melbourne when he tried to play on against the Demons’ gun ruck duo of Max Gawn and Luke Jackson.The 30-year-old got through the comeback match against the Eagles, recording 16 disposals, 13 hitouts and a goal. He felt fine, but that changed rapidly the following day.“So, I had the three months off with rehab and then building myself up to play again and got through that and played one game in the SANFL,” Lycett said.“Straight after the game I felt fine, but then the next day when I woke up I couldn’t lift my arm off the side of my body.“It was tough, because I felt like I had a really good pre-season and I started the year off not too bad and I was looking forward to continuing that.”After tests were done it was found that Lycett had an infection in the shoulder that he had surgery on.“I had to spend another week in hospital and for about three weeks a nurse was coming to my house every morning and putting antibiotics in me,” he said.An infection post-surgery might be confronting to deal with. But it wasn’t a new experience for Lycett.“I’ve had three major surgeries now. Had both shoulders reconstructed and my knee and they have all been in different states and different cities and they have all had infections,” he said.“So there might be something wrong with me I think, not the hospitals, it must be me.“At one time I was a bit scared because I had the surgery and within two or three days I had lost 10 kilos.“But with the surgery just gone I didn’t have any symptoms like that.”Perennial understudy Sam Hayes got a chance at AFL level after Lycett suffered the first injury against Melbourne, featuring in seven games.But some questions over Hayes’ ability to be more than just a tap ruckman led to the Power turning to the combo of key forwards Jeremy Finlayson and Charlie Dixon as they attempted to salvage their season.Finlayson was tasked with most of this ruckwork, impressing with his ability to move around the ground and be an extra midfielder when the ball came to the deck.It has raised the possibility of the Power looking at some matches in 2023 where Finlayson’s extra mobility might be the way they go.Lycett said he thought he and Finlayson could work well as a partnership for the Power in 2023.“I guess the way I look at it is that I had a year off, so hopefully that prolongs my career a bit longer, my body has had a chance to have a bit of a rest,” he said.“So I look at it from that perspective hopefully it can make me play longer.“I’m looking forward to working with them and whatever the coaches want to do going forward, I’m all for it.“All I can do is get as fit and strong as I can and put my name back out there.“It is hard to say, I think we can work together in the team. He (Finlayson) has played most of his career as a forward and coming up against those bigger rucks I think that was the only area he struggled in last season in the ruck because I thought he did everything else really well.“Obviously, I can hold my own a bit more against those bigger rucks, so I think we can compliment each other in the team and now that he has been here for 12 months and has that confidence I think it is exciting and I’m looking forward to it.“I would say that Jezza is more a forward, but he has done well in the ruck.“You can’t play just the one position in a team these days, you have to be able to play forward/ruck, or half-forward/mid or halfback/wing.”Winning back his spot in the Power team could be a long time coming for Lycett, after his lengthy off-season.“Everyone thinks you get your fitness and strength in the pre-season but you actually set yourself up in the off-season to have a good year,” he said.“We had more time off this off-season than any other year and obviously I had the whole year off, so I was really looking forward to coming back and soon as we were able to come back, I was back.“Training with the boys is a lot better than just running laps by yourself, which I had to do a few times, so that was a lot better.“(My body) still feels pretty good, I’m still getting some strength back in my shoulder but I don’t have those sore spots or anything like that in my legs or in my body, so I’m just looking forward to just smashing pre-season and getting back to where I was before I did my shoulder.“I feel really good, we will start to do some match sim when we return after the Christmas break and by then I should have a really good idea of where I am at.”While his 2022 was overall a frustrating year, Lycett did get the chance to help out the South Australian under-18 boys team as a forward coach.And he has already had a quick reunion with one of his former charges at Alberton.“I dad a bit to do with Tom Scully, who has just been drafted by the club, so that was pretty handy,” he said.“That kept me busy at least.“I’m probably not interested in coaching men’s stuff, but I am interested in coaching developing teams and developing talls.“Because I feel like young kids like that can find it a bit tougher and might need some guidance to get to the next level.”

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