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  1. #1
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    Why Wallis in constantly knocking on wood

    Mitch Wallis opens up on his latest comeback and hopes to put injuries behind him in 2020


    Mitch Wallis hasn’t had much luck in the past few years, with the midfielder suffering two crushing injuries. But he’s hoping his fortunes can change to get a clear run at the 2020 season.

    Mitch Wallis quickly taps the table in front of him.

    He’s been doing the old knock on wood thing a lot lately.

    It’s no wonder Wallis is falling back on superstition for good fortune as he steps up his recovery from a second season-killing injury in the space of three years.

    Not your garden variety injuries either, both nasty ones.

    Wallis didn’t play a game after Round 10 this season due a bone stress injury in his ankle that eventually required surgery.

    This came two years after his return from the horrific broken leg he suffered in 2016, which cost him the biggest prize of all when he had to watch from the stands as the Western Bulldogs claimed a famous drought-breaking premiership win.

    A heart and soul Bulldog, the midfielder is wishing for nothing more this Christmas than putting the injuries behind him.

    “I’m hoping and praying that I can get a full season out,” Wallis said.

    “When you can’t do your job because you are injured, it is tough.

    “I think the injuries that I have had are big impact injuries, I know the last one was stress, but a lot to do with bone. A lot of them you can’t help when they happen.

    “I’m not looking too far ahead, I’m touching so much wood at the moment. It’s a session by session thing, but I’ve given myself every chance and I’m very in tune with how my body is feeling.”

    But so far, so good for Wallis in his latest comeback.

    After successful surgery on his ankle, in which he had to have a pin inserted, Wallis is now completing three out of four sessions a week and is targeting a return to full training early in the new year.

    “It was a pretty significant surgery,” Wallis said.

    “I’m 23-24 weeks post-surgery now. It did take a bit of time, I offloaded it for a while, but in terms of the build-up to now, I’ve been running for eight or nine weeks and back pretty fit.

    “I’ve come back in pretty good nick which gives me the best foundation to launch into the pre-season and hit the ground running as soon as the games come around.

    “I’m in a good spot at the moment.”

    Wallis’ ankle injury was on the opposite leg to the one he broke in awful scenes in Round 18, 2016, joking he was just “trying to even things up a bit”.

    Three years on, Wallis still has to make sure he stays on top of his recovery and puts in extra strengthening work on his left leg to ensure it doesn’t protest and give him too many physical reminders of the gruesome injury.

    “It does fatigue at different times, but in terms of symptoms like aching and pain I don’t have that as such,” Wallis, 27, said.

    “I’m quite lucky the physios and doctors and everyone that has helped me, we took it really slow and really progressively to get me back.

    “We really honed in on some recovery practices for the last couple of years which has held me in good stead. I’ll continue to stay on top of it though, I can’t just let it go and forget about it, I do have to do extra strengthening work on that left side.

    “But in terms of on-field it doesn’t impact me at all.”

    The reminders of what it cost him though are a bit harder to forget.

    But Wallis continues to use the ultimate prize he missed out on as motivation to make sure he and the club can get back there again.

    “You get reminded of it pretty often, but again I was part of the club success as well, I felt like I had an impact throughout that year,” Wallis said.

    “But it just makes you more eager and determined to make it happen again with a new crop of boys.”

    During his spell on the sidelines this year, Wallis found ways to make an impact off-field by helping with coaching the club’s VFL team.

    “I think there is other ways and other capacities that you can help the club and keep developing the younger players and keep the club going in the right direction,” he said.

    “So I was searching through those ways, I helped coached a little bit of the VFL in the latter half of the year through the finals series, which was fun, which was different. But again it’s just about being involved and helping out any way you can.”

    That role will carry on field as a member of the club’s six-man leadership group for a second straight year next season, while he has helped welcome newcomer Cody Weightman by having the club’s top draft pick staying with him after his arrival at the club.

    But it’s back in the middle among the action where Wallis wants to make an impact again and that starts with a big pre-season.

    “My last AFL game was Round 10 so it was a long time ago since I have played a full match, so (pre-season is) very important,” Wallis said.

    “You come in well rested because you haven’t been playing, you didn’t play a full season. But you do need time on legs to get through the year.

    “I haven’t missed a session yet, touch wood, it’s very early on but I have given myself every chance to hit the ground running and come back Round 1”.

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  3. #2
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    Re: Why Wallis in constantly knocking on wood

    I think Wally has plenty to offer and was going ok in the first half till he had the foot problem. Fingers crossed he has an injury free season.
    Premierships: AFL 1954, 2016 VFA - 1898,99,1900, 1908, 1913, 1919-20, 1923-24, VFL: 2014, 2016 . Champions of Victoria 1924. AFLW - 2018.

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  5. #3
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    Re: Why Wallis in constantly knocking on wood

    Needs a good run with luck

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