Pain of horror injury eases for ex-Cat

Snell h Snell
LOOKING UP: Jason Snell relaxes at home with his dog Bodhi after a successful operation to fuse his ankle. Photo: GLENN FERGUSON  
Tuesday, AUgust 20

PREMATURELY retired Cat Jason Snell is on the mend after a successful operation to have his ankle joint fused.

Snell is recuperating at home after a three-hour operation at Bayside Hospital in Hampton and is feeling upbeat for the first time in a long time.

He is hopeful the successful operation means he won't carry a permanent limp and has thrown away the painkillers he has needed to get through every day for the past three months.

Snell has not played football after badly breaking his ankle in round three last year against Melbourne at the MCG.

The sickening incident was one of the worst seen on a football field, with a bone protruding through his skin.

He hoped to resume playing this season but after complications with the ankle, was forced to retire two months ago.

Snell has had five screws inserted in his ankle, which was fused with a piece of bone taken from his fibula. Effectively locking his ankle in place, it means he will not run again.

``The operation went as well as it could have gone,'' Snell said yesterday from his Newtown home.

``There are three joints that they might have had to fuse but they only fused the main ankle joint, so by doing only one I hopefully won't have a permanent limp.

``It is still just bone on bone so I won't be able to run again because there is no cushioning there but hopefully when it all settles down the limp will disappear.''

Snell will be on crutches for two months and will have an X-ray in a fortnight to gauge whether the ankle joint has fused properly.

``It feels the best it has felt since I hurt it, it is not sore at all, so hopefully I'm over the worst of it,'' he said.

The immobile 25-year-old is now hitting the books in an effort to finish his Bachelor of Business degree at Deakin University.

Meanwhile, Snell is pressing on with plans to seek compensation from the AFL and AFL Players' Association over the injury.

The paperwork is expected to be filed with the respective bodies in a month.

Under permanent disability compensation clauses within the two bodies, Snell could seek up to $500,000 in damages.

LOOKING UP: Jason Snell relaxes at home with his dog Bodhi after a successful operation to fuse his ankle.ps7.5qmPhoto: GLENN FERGUSON