Wednesday, November 7, 2012

Rugby's McCaw Hid Foot Injury

English: New Zeland rugby union player Richie ...
English: New Zeland rugby union player Richie McCaw and the rest of the All Blacks visit Christchurch during the Rugby World Cup. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
New Zealand's Richie McCaw's foot injury at last year's Rugby World Cup was so bad that he came close to limping out of the semifinal against Australia.
The All Blacks captain reveals how he hid the injury from coaches, teammates, and the media in his new biography, Richie McCaw: The Open Side. His broken foot hindered him during the All Black's run to the World Cup title in 2011, battling severe pain in the semifinal.
"During the warm-up I didn't feel it too much, but five minutes into the game I felt it again. Something letting go. A clunk or pop or crack. The pain came back. It was sore all the way through the semi, but only really sore when the whistle went. One of the most challenging bits was running up the tunnel at half time. Getting on and off the field was complete agony," McCaw says.
He told team doctor Deb Robinson he would play as long as he could but if the pain got too great and it was affecting his decision making during the game, he would quit. He refused to have the foot X-rays because he knew how bad the injury was. McCaw relied on painkillers to get him through, not telling the coaching team, his team, or the media how bad his injury was.
"I didn't let on to the coaches too much, there's no point in freaking them. I just keep telling them I'll be right, I'm good to go, that I'm confident that even if I don't train at all, I can still go out and perform. The hardest bit is around the team and the media, particularly. I have to really grit my teeth and try to walk normally," McCaw said.
He asked mental skills advisers Gilbert Enoka and former All White Ceri Evans to help him through the knockout matches but he was still in a lot of pain.
McCaw wrote in his book, "I'm sick of the bloody foot. It's like stepping on a red-hot lump of coal. I have to change my gait slightly and then other parts of my foot get sore, but it kind of doesn't matter anymore, because I got through the semi and I know I can play in the final."
He was so emotional after winning the World Cup, 8-7 over France, he "bent over, hands on knees. Then sink to one knee. We've won. I should be happy. All I feel is relief. It's finished. I can stop. I don't have to do this anymore."
When you suffer an injury as serious as McCaws', we never recommend that you try to hid it from anyone. By hiding it from coaches, family, and teammates, the only one you are hurting is yourself. McCaw probably did even more damage to his foot by covering up that it was broken.
If you are are suffering from a rugby related foot injury, call our Newington, Kensington, or Middletown office to make an appointment.
Craig M. Kaufman, DPM
Connecticut Foot Care Centers
Sports Podiatrist in CT
Podiatrist in Newington, Kensington, and Middletown, CT
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