Ainslie NEAFL player, Kane Morris, is back playing after injuring his right hand in a workplace accident. Photo: Graham Tidy
When a freak workplace accident ''de-gloved'' Kane Morris' ring finger in June, his first thought wasn't about his bleeding, injured hand, it was about missing out on the NEAFL finals.
Despite it being so gruesome we cannot show the picture, the Ainslie ruck was back on the park less than a month later and hopes to play a major role in the Tricolours' finals campaign.
Ironically, the carpenter was working on Eastlake coach Anthony Bourke's house when he fell off a ladder and caught his hand on a bracket.
Morris' injured hand after 52 stitches.
The 23-year-old spent two days in hospital having surgery.
Luckily there wasn't any ligament or tendon damage and, 52 stitches later, he was back together.
Morris's initial fears were his season was over, something he would have been devastated with given Ainslie were on track to finish the home-and-away season in third. But the surgery went well and he was back four weeks later, wearing a glove for extra protection.
''Straight away I was cranky as,'' Morris said.
''I thought, 'this couldn't happen at a worse time of year'.
''I was at Bourkey's house and I was playing Bourkey that weekend, I said, 'you kicked the ladder didn't you'. And he goes, 'I didn't kick the ladder, I didn't do it'. But it wasn't too bad.''
The finger still feels ''tight'', with the scar tissue making flexibility difficult.
There's no pain, despite it being his ''rucking hand'', with the glove only needed for extra padding.
Morris was in stunning form before the injury and was named Ainslie's best against Belconnen days before the accident.
Not surprisingly his form has taken a hit, but he was hopeful of ''getting back to my old self'' in the finals. ''It was pretty bad, it was a de-gloving of the finger,'' Morris said. ''All of the skin on my ring finger on my right hand got torn off, it was back to the bone, torn from the middle of my palm to the top of my finger.
''There was no skin there for two days before I had surgery.''
Morris's rise as a footballer has been rapid.
He grew up in Young playing basketball and rugby, and it wasn't until the Saints started up in 2007 the then 18-year-old took the sport up.
Morris and his brother watched a game, then headed to training to have a go.
''We went round just to watch the first game [Young] played, but then I just decided to go down after because it looked like pretty good fun and just stayed there since,'' Morris said.
His coach Allan Payne recommended he head to Ainslie to take his footy to the next level. This is his fourth season in Canberra.
The Ainslie ruck job has become something of a poison chalice this season.
Morris had his freak accident, and repeated shoulder injuries forced Rowan Andrews to retire.
It means midfielder Jon Gourlay has been thrown into the role as an under-sized ruckman simply because he's got a good jump.