ADAM Goodes' logic-defying pain threshold has been acclaimed by the Sydney doctor who, after treating many a wounded Swan over 15 years, remains gobsmacked by the co-captain's grand final heroics.
Still marvelling at the dual Brownlow medallist's ability to run out Saturday's grand final, after he ruptured a posterior cruciate ligament in his knee early in the second term, Dr Nathan Gibbs highlighted an aspect of Goodes' greatness he said had gone largely unheralded.
Swans return home with Premiership cup
Swans players and coaching staff return home to the SCG following their epic Grand Final victory over Hawthorn.
While All-Australian defender Ted Richards required cortisone and 12 rounds of painkilling injections in order to play on Saturday - Richards had four rounds of anaesthetic injections on match day - Goodes was able to continue with the assistance of strapping.
''It's just amazing,'' Gibbs said of the Sydney star who played his 319th senior game.
''He ruptured his posterior cruciate ligament during the game, and usually that's six weeks out. People don't keep playing, they always come off. I've been racking my brain trying to think of anyone I know of in rugby league or AFL who has done a posterior cruciate ligament injury and been able to keep competing.
''The even more impressive thing is that we didn't have to inject his knee - and that's not something I'd be comfortable with anyway, because it's a lot more dangerous than injecting ankle ligaments - but Matt Cameron, the physio, just strapped it in a way to support the looseness that the rupture created and that was sufficient for Goodesy to get out back there.
''It obviously still felt unstable, and it was hurting, but he was able to put it in the back of his mind and still compete. It's amazing.''
After patching the Swans up through three grand finals - two of them successful - Gibbs likened Goodes' effort on Saturday to the toughness of Leo Barry in 2005.
''I reckon that's one aspect of Goodesy that most people in the AFL world wouldn't appreciate. They wouldn't appreciate how tough Adam Goodes is. They see what he can do with the football, they see his leadership role, but his toughness is where they probably don't give him the credit he deserves,'' he said.
''It's hard to compare, but in 2005 Leo Barry had that cheekbone fracture and played through the finals with it, and he took that great mark. He should not have been playing footy. But what Goodesy did yesterday was unbelievable.''
Others were aghast at Goodes' toughness yesterday with former Melbourne big man Jeff White posting on Twitter: ''I don't know how Goodesy played with a torn PCL for 3 quarters yesterday. I tore mine in 98 & still can't walk.''
Another Sydney warrior, midfielder Jude Bolton, revealed in the aftermath of the match how he had managed to play with a partially torn anterior cruciate ligament and posterior cruciate ligament since the Swans played Carlton in round 19, eight weeks ago.
''In the beginning he needed a few injections of different stuff to settle it down … but he has been pretty good since. He didn't need painkillers for the grand final,'' Gibbs said.
With Gibbs yet to conduct his post-grand final medical assessments, he said Tommy Walsh was the only Sydney player at this stage definitely requiring surgery. The Irishman was named as an emergency for Saturday's game but needs a shoulder reconstruction.
Gibbs said Sydney would not do anything radically different than other clubs, in terms of managing and monitoring its players physically, but said a database started seven years ago was the crucial tool.
Swans players enter information about their physical condition into a computerised system every time they train. ''That's certainly helped us,'' Gibbs said. ''A lot of clubs do that kind of stuff now. But it's like anything … it's all about how you use the data.''