St Helens prop Alex Walmsley has offered wordsof encouragement to former team-mate Mose Masoe following his serious injury at the weekend.
Walmsley knows better than most what it’s like to suffer a serious injury and not know whether or not his career was over.
The 29-year-old front rower suffered a broken neck during a game against Warrington Wolves. The injury was so bad he was out for 10 months and during that time he was not 100% certain that he would play rugby league again.
He managed to play again and was part of the Saints squad that won the Super League and even went on tour with the Great Britain Lions at the end of the campaign.
Former Saints player Masoe, who is now at Hull Kingston Rovers, is in a similar position to Walmsley as he was stretchered off the field at the weekend with a back problem and has since had surgery.
A GoFund page has been set up because of the severity of the injury and it’s still unclear whether he will walk again never mind lace up his boots.
Walmsley told RLN: “I played with Mose for three season’s at St Helens, he’s a champion bloke. I don’t know the full extent of the injury and the severity of it. But all I can say is that all my thoughts are with him and his family.
“It’s a sad day when we have injuries like that. It doesn’t sound too great. Myself and everyone at the club are behind him and we wish him the best. I don’t know how bad it is, but him as a father need to live his best life. I wish him all the best, I really do.”
The talk of Masoe’s injury got Walmsley thanking his own lucky stars that he was able to get back playing the game he loves and he can’t wait for the season to start. He added: “I’m feeling good. It doesn’t seem two minutes since I was in PNG on the Lions tour.
“It’s come around so quick, that’s the sacrifice you get for earning international honours, you don’t get the same preparation the rest of the boys get in terms of pre-season. The body feels good, I’m happy in terms of where I am with my fitness and I’m looking forward to the start of the year.
“The neck is fine. I have had no concerns since I’ve come back. With the injury I had, and the severity of it, no one had ever had an injury like that and come back to play professional sport.
“There was a large element of the unknown, not just for myself but my neck surgeon and all the medical staff at the club. If we all weren’t comfortable with the outcome of the surgery then I wouldn’t have taken to the field.
“Everyone all held their breath a little bit after that first contact, but the season went well after. It was more of a psychological battle rather than anything else and thankfully I got through that.”