Jerry Collins says that he can’t wait to get back into action after undergoing surgery during the summer break to cure knee and shoulder problems that hampered him during the closing weeks of last season.
The inspirational Kiwi, voted Ospreys Players’ Player of the Year at the end of season Awards Dinner, is already working hard to regain his fitness following his double operation, and is looking forward to pulling the shirt back on after rediscovering his rugby ‘mojo’ as an Osprey.
Collins said that despite the obvious trauma of undergoing two operations simultaneously, he’s already working hard to get back in shape in time to feature during September.
“I feel pretty good considering. It’s not easy having two parts of your body done at the same time, it’s quite a difficult experience, but both surgeries have gone pretty well. The medical team are happy, they’ve done a really good job at sorting out the ligaments and the bits and pieces, and it seems to be healing quite well. I’m concentrating on doing my rehab now, working towards next season and just biding my time really,” he said.
“The shoulder injury has been a problem for a long time, and going towards the end of the season I was struggling to grip things, day to day things like pulling my shirt on in the morning was getting harder and harder. The knee problem was also there, going into the the last three weeks of the season I didn’t do much training, probably just once or twice a week pretty much, saving myself for the games.
“The surgeons were pretty amazed that I played the last two months of the season, and the credit has to go to the conditioning staff and physios here for managing me through that time and keeping the body intact for the run-in.
“I’m already working my hardest to get out there come day one. Obviously, it’ll all depend how the rehab goes, how pre-season shapes up. I’m running around again, but I’m waiting for the arm to get strong enough to do the gym work in order to sort that out.”
After his exertions in an Ospreys shirt over the course of the season, the summer break offered some welcome respite, even if the surgery means it’s not quite the break he anticipated.
“Having a break and being immobilised are two different things!” he said. “It’s not much of a break when you are recuperating, being restricted by having to take care of a shoulder and a knee. Whatever though, it’s good to get some kind of time away from rugby, the last year has been a hard one and it’s been earned. It was a long old season, I don’t think I missed more than one or two games all year, and our success in the Magners League meant we played right up to the end of May, so even if I’m on one leg and with my arm in a sling as I have been, I’ll enjoy some time off!
“As far as next season is concerned, it’s just a race to get back playing again now. I had such a great time last year, I really enjoyed my rugby and just want to get back out there playing as soon as I can. I suppose I arrived here last summer with something to prove, you know, I think every player kind of goes through a patch where they lose their mojo a little bit, I suppose that’s the best way to put it.”