Harley Bennell has undergone more surgery on the right calf. All photos: contributed
The former Docker and Sun Harley Bennell underwent surgery on his problematic right calf in Brisbane last week while offering to keep his AFL career alive.
Bennell officially separated from Fremantle two weeks ago – after only two senior matches in four seasons – but hopes this will allow him to play constantly at the highest level.
The 26-year-old, who played 81 games for the Gold Coast, returned to Perth but will return to Queensland in the coming weeks to undergo further surgery on his left calf.
Renowned sports physiotherapist Geelong Peter Stanton, who helped remedy the back problems of Cat star Tom Hawkins, is working closely with Bennell to solve his long-standing calf problems.
Stanton held prominent positions in the AFL clubs in Brisbane and Geelong, was at the Australian Institute of Sport for a decade, participated in three Olympic Games and is considered a calf guru.
Bennell's surgery last week identified a nervous problem and involved the removal of scarred and problem-causing muscles.
The operation was considered a success.
Bennell had previously sought treatment in Germany with the world's leading expert, Dr. Hans-Wilhelm Muller-Wohlfahrt in 2016, and also worked with a ballet physiotherapist last year.
After his release from the Dockers, he was adamant that he wanted to find a third AFL club to extend his career in a tenth season, and his WAFL level suggested that he still had a lot to give.
"I will not retire at this stage," Bennell said at the time.
"I will work really hard to reshape my calf injury in order to give me a chance to have another crack in playing for an AFL club.
"I firmly believe I'm able to get back out there and play at the highest level." – Harley Bennell
The story of Harley Bennell calves
Sunday 2 March 2014 – Bennell plays a pre-season game for Gold Coast against Collingwood, but a calf problem means he will not return via NEAFL until April.
Pre-Christmas, 2015 – He suffered a calf injury and has "calf problems in progress" during the pre-season.
Saturday 19 March 2016 – Calf strain while playing for Peel Thunder. He collected 23 eliminations and scored four goals in that display.
Friday 18 November 2016 – He left his calf tension during training, which was therefore considered his "good" calf.
Sunday 10 December 2016 – Bennell leaves for Munich, Germany, to consult with the world-famous soft tissue expert, Dr. Hans-Wilhelm Müller-Wohlfahrt, for his problematic calves.
Tuesday 4 April 2017 – Another left calf injury. Initially diagnosed as a minor tear, but further scans showed that it was more severe than previously thought. I still had to resume the complete training before that stopping line.
Wednesday, February 14, 2018 – Grade 1 tear in the left calf during Peel training.
Saturday 2 June 2018 – Calf held in its fourth consecutive game for Peel. He closed the second half of the clash with Claremont.
Saturday 28 July 2018 – Injury to the left calf during the Peel game. He stopped shortly before the last quarter after a disadvantage of 27 and two goals against West Perth and went on the bench, but eventually returned to the field.
Saturday 18 August 2018 – Calf injury while playing for Peel in the second half of a game against Claremont, attempting a comeback after three weeks on the sideline.
Week of 21 January 2019 – Bennell experiences calf oppression during a pre-season training session.
Friday 8 February 2019 – Bennell trains a calf during training.
Tuesday, April 16, 2019 – Bennell experiences pain in the calf at the end of the workout. An ultrasound showed no abnormalities, but an MRI confirmed that he had injured his right calf.
Saturday, June 23, 2019 – Bennell suffers a & # 39;significant rupture of the right calf at the start of his fourth consecutive WAFL game as he approached a call from the AFL.
Week of 22 July 2019 – Bennell undergoes surgery in Brisbane with rthe famous sports physiotherapist Geelong Peter Stanton.