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Watson’s recovery builds pace

Karla Zanardo  December 19, 2017 9:17 AM

The support from a teammate who’s experienced more than his fair share of setbacks is helping Declan Watson recover from a shattering ACL injury.

“I’ve spoken to Paul Ahern a fair bit about it all, its handy to have someone who’s already done it all … twice,” Watson told

Watson says he likes to use Ahern’s recovery checkpoints for himself. 

“It’s interesting to see where he was at a particular stage and compare to where I am at," Watson added.

“If Paul was doing a certain exercise, I want to do that too so it’s a bit of a motivator.”

In the past year, Watson experienced the high of being on an AFL list, to the low of being out for 12 months with injury.

“At the time it was pretty painful and then it kind of went away after 30 seconds, it [the injury] didn’t really sink in at the time," he recalled.

“The roughest part was the first couple of months when it was really sore and I couldn’t really do much, so it was good that the early stages of my recovery was done over the off-season.

“It’s just good having someone else that has gone through it all to talk about it,” Watson said of Ahern's advice.

Determined to get back into main training as soon as possible, Watson revealed he spent the majority of his holidays at Arden St.

“I was probably here about 60 per cent of the off-season doing the minor stuff, a lot of smaller exercise to try and get the bulk back in my leg and keep building on that.

“Nothing has been rushed and I’ve felt very comfortable with where everything’s at so it’s just slowly building that up now.”

The hard work has paid dividends and he had his first post-surgery run last week.