Knee injury ends Walker?s season
By ADAM WRATTEN
A FEW months ago Justin Walker was talking with the Wests Tigers about launching his NRL career.
Now all he's focused on is playing the game he loves again.
The Tweed Heads fullback's season came to an abrupt end after less than 50 minutes of action in the club's opening game of the Queensland Cup when he tore his cruciate and strained his medial ligaments.
Walker was set to play a pivotal part in Tweed Heads' campaign this year.
Doctors have told him he will be out of the game for up to 12 months.
When he returns, Walker fears he may lack the speed and agility that are such a crucial part of his game.
It was only a few months ago, the Coolangatta-Tweed Golf Club greenkeeper was talking with West Tigers officials about a possible move to the NRL club.
While nothing eventuated from the talks, he still harbours hopes of playing at the top level.
"I was just running with the ball and went to step a bloke," Walker said of his injury.
"(My knee) collapsed, I felt a click, three or four times, and then I went down .?.?. I copped one for my troubles to."
"When I saw the doc after the game I had a tear in my eye, but I was pretty quick to get rid of it as I didn't want the boys to see it.
"I was expecting the worst."
The next day he consulted a specialist who told him he would be out for the rest of the year.
Doctors are waiting for the medial ligament injury to heal before operating. Walker hopes this will be within six weeks.
"It didn't really hit me until the weekend and I was watching the boys run around, I felt pretty down that night," Walker said.
"They played really well too.
"This couldn't have come at a worse time, I put a lot of work in the off-season and for it to happen so early in the season is gut wrenching.
"(But in this game) you do expect injuries, you know sooner or later something is going to happen."
Meanwhile, talented young Seagulls forward Tom Patterson also suffered a season-ending knee injury on the same weekend as Walker.
Patterson, 19, was playing a trial game for the club's Northern Rivers side against Lower Clarence when he damaged his cruciate ligament, ruling him out for the year.