Brooker determined to put injury nightmare behind him - The Worcester Observer

Brooker determined to put injury nightmare behind him

Worcester Editorial 11th Oct, 2013 Updated: 19th Oct, 2016   0

IF WORCESTER Warriors’ players need a source of inspiration to help turn their side’s fortunes around, they need to look no further than teammate Chris Brooker.

This time last year, there were doubts the hooker would ever play the game again after sustaining what was considered a career-ending injury.

Last Saturday – 20 months on from when he severely dislocated his knee playing for Harlequins – the 27-year-old, who joined Worcester this summer, made his second successive appearance for his new club.

Despite suffering a 16-11 defeat, the clash marked a remarkable recovery from Brooker who had different memories from the last time he came up against Newcastle Falcons.

“I remember competing for a ball and then hearing it go,” he said. “As there was so much adrenaline in me at the time I didn’t feel anything.

“But when I looked down I saw my tibia and fibula out one side, my knee socket down here and my ankle facing the other way it hit me.”

The injury was so horrific, Brooker, who had been drafted into the England training squad ahead of the Six Nations just days before the incident, was told he was unlikely to play rugby professionally again as surgeons set about rebuilding his knee.

“I was non-weight-bearing for three months, so I pretty much lived in bed,” Brooker said.

“I had to re-learn how to walk, run and get up and down stairs. It was hard work.

“But I could not have done anything if it wasn’t for my missus. If I lived alone it would have been pretty dark, but she was there for me.”

His girlfriend was also there to watch the Bristol-born front row make his return to Aviva Premiership action when he came on as a half-time replacement against London Wasps at Adams Park.

“The day was more emotional for my girlfriend and parents than it was for me,” Brooker said. “I had gone so long being out of the game it got to that stage when I thought if it doesn’t happen it doesn’t happen.

“But I was so determined to get back and prove to myself that I could comeback from something so horrific.”

Now, Brooker is focused on getting minutes under his belt and battling it out with Ed Shervington, Nick Seymour and new arrival Agustin Creevy for the number two shirt this season.

“People say to me ‘do you want to get back playing for England? And the answer is ‘yes I do’, but first I need to get used to running out for 80 minutes each week and start getting back to my old ways,” he added.


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