Leeds Rhinos’ Jack Walker has had enough hardship in the opening years of his career as some players don’t go through in a lifetime.
After bursting onto the scene as a wily teenager back in 2017, Walker became one of the youngest Grand Final winners ever that season.
However, from then onwards, it has been an uphill struggle in a bid to be injury free – and he has opened up on just what he has had to go through in his career so far.
“My foot has snapped, I snapped my lisfranc which is the ligament that holds your big toe and middle toe together and I broke my foot in three places,” Walker told The Full Eighty Minutes podcast.
“I tried running it off and the pain didn’t go away and I was gutted. I thought I would be alright the week after but that was season done and I was wounded.”
However, that was just the start of the 22-year-old’s misfortune.
“Throughout the whole of my rehab my joint was rubbing together which caused arthritis in my foot so I went to see a couple of specialists and it was my last chance – if the operation didn’t work that was it.
“They had to shave the bone where the arthritis was to get rid of that, and then they had to take bone from my heel and put it into the middle of the foot where my joint was and put a plate on foot and fuse my foot together – that was another eight months.
“I did that in February 2020 and that was the whole season done, but after that season my foot didn’t feel right and I went for a scan.
“I got to February 2021 time, they saidIi would have to have the operation again so that was another eight months. It was the full 2021 season out and then eight games into 2022 my hamstring went.”
Walker has revealed just how different his training now has to be to the rest of the Leeds squad given his problems.
“It is tough because I’ve had this injury and I can’t be treated like every other player so the training load I do is different.
“I have to learn how to walk again properly. I’ve got a flat foot and my knee is turning inwards. It all links up the chain.
“I can’t do the same as everyone else as my body can’t handle it, but this is it now it’s the last chance.”