‘Freak accident’ causes ‘heartbreak’
THE returning Sandor Earl has suffered a knee injury that will delay his NRL comeback with Melbourne.
The former Raiders winger is coming off a four-year drugs ban and was hopeful of turning out for the Storm this season but a "freak accident" during training has put his comeback plan on ice.
Scans on Wednesday revealed Earl injured his right knee's anterior cruciate ligament during a non-contact session, but it is not yet known how long he will spend on the sideline.
"This is by far my most heartbreaking post to date!" Earl wrote on his Facebook page. "Unfortunately yesterday during a skills session I tore my ACL.
"As many of you may know this is the one injury all athletes wish to avoid. It is a freak accident and a tough pill to swallow.
"I couldn't have done any more in preparation and in effort. I was truly working towards something great this pre season. The Melbourne Storm have not only taken me on as a "teammate and family but been amazing through this transition and awful news.
"This is not the way I envisioned repaying such an amazing club, however it's not over yet.
"If I hadn't already I'm looking to set new standards to the definition comeback.
"I will now shift my focus to rehab and being the best clubman I can be to return bigger and better and make an impact at this great club.
"I appreciate everyone's support to date. Although some may be upset I can only ask that you push me to new heights to achieve something special over this next period."
Melbourne football director Frank Ponissi said Earl is "shattered" but is confident he will approach his rehab with the attitude necessary to overcome the crippling injury.
"Everyone at the club is devastated for Sandor. He is understandably shattered at the moment and we will support him in every way on and off the field to assist Sandor's return back to playing," Ponissi said.
"While he has only been with the club a short time, he has earned the respect of the coaches and players in the way he has approached training and embraced the standards and values of our club.
"We have no doubt he will approach his rehab with the same impressive attitude."