Jupp hopeful of 2020 Sharks return
East Fremantle vice-captain and reigning best and fairest Matthew Jupp will undergo surgery on a rare and painful toe injury on Wednesday, but believes he still has an on-field role to play in 2020 despite the setback.
The 26 year old played out the second half of the 2019 season with a fractured sesamoid bone, sustained initially in round 12 against Claremont.
Post season surgery appeared to have solved the problem, but a recent setback leaves the full-back's WAFL career in limbo.
“The toe’s not going great at the moment,” Jupp told Sports Drive on Tuesday.
“It’s a really rare and tricky injury, a lot of people have had issues with their sesamoid bones but not many break them.”
“The specialists and experts couldn’t really give me a definitive answer or much clarity on the injury itself, so I had a lot of trouble getting some information to get some informed decisions.”
Jupp had touched base with Fremantle Dockers player Travis Colyer in recent times to discuss a course of action for the injury, the former Essendon speedster suffering a similar ailment in his time at the Dons.
The popular defender will have surgery on Wednesday to have the sesamoid bone removed, the same procedure that Colyer had at the Bombers.
“I went and had a coffee with him and he essentially said that you can get back to full strength, it’s inherently risky without the bone there and the tendons that run through, if you sever the tendons it can have long term implications,” Jupp said.
“What did come out of that chat is that it’s possible to get back and play at a high level.”
The South Perth product said he had considered the risks involved with the surgery, and the fact that he could never play the sport again.
“It’s something I have contemplated at length over the last two or three months trying to get it right. That’s the thing with this kind of injury, it can be career ending.”
“I have weighed up those possibilities, it is daunting and quite concerning that it could be all over.”
“You feel like you’re at the peak of your powers at 26 and coming off a best and fairest, the club’s on the rise. I feel like I’ve got so much more left to offer on the football field.”
A best-case scenario is a mid-season return for Jupp, the Sharks anxiously awaiting the news on fellow defender and new recruit Durak Tucker who suffered an ankle injury at training recently, with surgery also a possibility for the former Sydney Swan.
East Fremantle play three practice matches before a round one meeting with Claremont at East Fremantle Oval on April 4th.
IMAGE: East Fremantle FC.