Stricken back row Jack Willis has shed light on the devastating array of injuries suffered by his knee when he came off the replacements bench to play for England in last month’s Guinness Six Nations round two win over Italy. Willis lasted just six minutes in his third England appearance, enough time for the 24-year-old to score a try before getting crocodile rolled at a breakdown by Italy’s Sebastian Negri.
Although it was known his knee had suffered multiple injuries, Willis has now detailed the precise nature of the extensive damage that had been done and fears he could be sidelined from the game for up to a year.
Having previously been through this time-consuming process of recovering from a serious knee injury, the Wasps forward has now decided to document his latest recovery and he posted a six-minute video to his Instagram account where he described what he was feeling at various stages in the lead-up to his recent surgery in London.
The revealing footage opened with Willis explaining his motivation for being so open in telling England and Wasps rugby fans all about his latest brutal injury. “I felt it was worth explaining my main motivation behind this, why I want to document what I’m going through during rehab and everything really.
“I have spent a lot of time over the last couple of days thinking about what is ahead and remembering what I was through the last time, the 18 months or whatever it was I spent out. There are times you need motivation, you need to find something from somewhere.
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“I probably want to use this as a tool to keep me motivated throughout the whole of it and keep me focused. It’s tough thinking about what I am going to be missing and how hard I have worked to get back to that point but it’s going to be worth it to get back to that.”
The video then shows Willis waking up and assembling a crutch following a difficult night’s sleep and next there is some footage of him meeting with Andy Williams, the surgeon renowned for operating on so many high profile sports people’s damaged knees.
Williams is pictured telling England rookie Willis: “I’d be disappointed about anything other than full recovery.” The clip then shows Willis’ reaction when back at home after he had absorbed everything that has been said to him about his scans. “I went and saw Andy Williams down at Fortius. Weird feeling really. Got a better feeling for where we are at. Basically figured out after the scan as well what I had done and just spoke in more detail about what that means.
“So I have torn my MCL (medial collateral ligament) off the bone at the bottom, torn a bit off the top as well, so I am going to need that fully repaired. Torn both menisci, the medial meniscus from the root one side. Pretty gutted. I could be out for up to a year. Not really sure how I feel about it at the moment.”
What Willis has documented then concludes with him heading to London for his operation and he even posts from his hospital bed just prior to getting taken down to the surgical ward.
“Exciting day today. It feels like a step in the right direction. It has been a long few days waiting for the surgery with the fact that I’m not yet sure on timeframes yet. It could be six months, nine months, twelve months depending on what needs to be done to the PCL (posterior cruciate ligament). Yeah, pretty nervous to be honest with you.
“It’s the morning of the operation. There has been a lot on my mind. I just want to get this done, that’s the main thing. At least I know I am starting the process once I have got this done. I was thinking last night how much post-op this is going to hurt but fingers crossed.
“They are coming to grab me now for theatre. Really looking forward to getting it done now and cracking on with the rehab and coming through to the other side. I spoke to Andy just now and he is going to go in there and find out what the best plan is and whatever will be will be. Six months, twelve months, nine months, we’ll take it on. Looking forward to it. See you on the other side.”
"As the doctor came on I put more weight on my leg and it just buckled"
— RugbyPass (@RugbyPass) March 5, 2021
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