22 May 2008 06:54
Hockey Australia announces that Nathan Eglington will not be available for the 2008 Olympic Games after tearing his abductor muscle at a recent training session.
Eglington significantly tore the abductor muscle in his left groin at training over a month ago and was ruled out of contention to compete at the Olympics after consultation with the Kookaburras medical staff this week.
The injury occurred during a standard structure drill with scans revealing he had completely torn one tendon and another was hanging by a thread.
Reluctant to have surgery immediately and ruin his chance of a possible comeback, Eglington and the Kookaburras medical staff sought opinions from various medical professionals including those involved with the West Coast Eagles Football Club, Fremantle Dockers Football Club and the Australian Institute of Sport.
It was initially hoped that if the injury had time to heal naturally it could be reassessed and he could come back in time for the Olympics.
However after a surgeon confirmed the injury wasn't making any progress, Eglington in consultation with coach Barry Dancer was forced to face the hard fact that he would be unavailable to play. Eglington will now be out of action for at least six months.
Eglington, who has played 136 international matches and scored 47 goals, was a significant contributor to the team's efforts at the 2004 Athens Olympics which saw the Kookaburras win the gold medal for the first time in 48 years.
"Obviously this is the most devastating injury that I have suffered throughout my career. I don't think it has really sunk in yet that I will be missing the Games but I am trying to put on a brave face for all the boys back at training, but I'm obviously shattered," said Eglington
"To have worked so hard for three and a bit years and then have this happen, it is quite devastating. Probably the most frustrating thing is that over the past twelve months I have been completely injury free and have been in fairly consistent form recently. I think I'm still in shock and to be honest I don't think it will really sink in until the Olympics arrive."
Eglington will make a decision on his career at the end of 2008 and will not travel to Beijing with the team.
"At this stage I won't make a decision on 2009 until the end of the year. What has happened is devastating but even though I won't be in the team I obviously wish the rest of the guys the best of luck as we try and win back to back gold medals. To do so will be fantastic, not only for the team but for hockey in Australia."
Coach Barry Dancer said Eglington would receive the full support of Kookaburras team.
"The full squad and support staff have great empathy for Nathan's situation. He has been a very exciting and valuable player for the Kookaburras and has contributed significantly to the success of the team over an extended period.
We are all hoping he has a full recovery and the opportunity to perform in international hockey at such a high level again." Said Dancer.
Source: Hockey Australia