YOUNG Melbourne Victory defender Nick Ansell has opened up about the agony of ripping his groin from the bone - and his recovery after being sidelined for weeks
Ansell, 19, suffered the painful injury in the derby against local rivals Melbourne Heart in February and consequently missed Victory’s finals campaign.
It came after a run of eight consecutive starts for the youngster and just a week after he had signed a three-year contract extension at the club.
But despite being cautious with the injury throughout pre-season, Ansell insists he has now put the pain behind him and it no longer crosses his mind when he steps out on to the pitch.
“It was a pretty bad injury,” Ansell told Morning Glory on SEN. “I tore my groin off the bone about two and a half centimetres so it was pretty painful at the time.”
“It took about eight weeks to get back to running and training fully with the team and I finally played my first game back ten weeks after I did the injury. It was a long time.
“The first couple of weeks I couldn’t really move until the tendon healed back to the bone. It was a tough injury but I’ve had a full pre-season now and I’m feeling good.
“My first couple of games back I was feeling a bit cautious about it but now I wouldn’t think twice about anything.
“I reckon with all the physios that we’ve got at Victory they give you that confidence before you go out on to the field and they let you know it’s fully right to go and they really take care of you and that really helps a lot.
“They wouldn’t put you back in until you’re fully fit.”
Ansell was replaced in the first game of the season by new Chilean signing Pablo Contreras in the off-season, but a suspension to the marquee paved the way for him to make his debut the following week away to Adelaide United.
The central defender was also a part of Victory’s win against Brisbane Roar last Friday and managed to help keep a cleansheet in Ange Postecoglou’s final game in charge of the club.
And Ansell revealed Pstecoglou's emotional farewell to the Victory squad in the dressing rooms after the game.
“At the start he (Postecoglou) just went about it as another game in the season,” said Ansell. “He didn’t really say too much, he just tried to keep it all normal really.
“We came back in after the game and he had a 10 minute speech or so and he just wanted to thank everyone for what they’ve done.”
“He also said he was sorry for what the club had to go through this week leading up to that game on Friday.
“Ange was a bit emotional which you don’t really see too much. It was definitely a bit of a weird feeling but we’ll have a new coach come in and move on from there.”
“We’ve got Musky (Kevin Muscat) and Darren Davies and all the other coaching staff here that have been working under Ange’s system for the last 18 months.
“I think if any of them fill in it will be the same as usual really.”