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Saffy gets back on track

Jarrod Saffy.

Jarrod Saffy. Photo: Getty Images

SIX months ago, Melbourne Rebels loose-forward Jarrod Saffy was looking at the end to his career after a training accident left him with a serious neck injury.

But Saffy underwent surgery late last month on a bulging disc and is hopeful of returning to full training with the squad by Christmas.

Saffy was injured when he was accidentally struck during a training drill in April by an armguard worn by teammate Adam Byrnes.

He opted for a conservative approach to his treatment and spent several months on the sidelines to see if the disc could repair itself. But when that did not happen, the decision was made to have surgery and the 27-year-old was now optimistic about his future.

''I can start running next week when we start [pre-season] training,'' Saffy said. ''Prior to having it [surgery] done, I was faced with this being potentially career-ending, [so] where I was then to where I am now is a huge turnaround. It's a huge relief.''

Saffy said he was not worried about potential risks.

''At the end of the day you've got to realise it's a high-contact sport and everyone carries that risk of ending up in a wheelchair,'' he said.

''That's a very small, harsh reality but that's the risk you take to do something you love.

''It's not ever going to be completely risk-free, if you've never had disc problems you've still got that risk of a bad tackle, so you assume those risks when you play the game anyway, [although] you obviously don't want to play at a heightened risk.''

Saffy said he held no bitterness towards Byrnes, despite initially considering taking legal action against him if he had been forced to end his career. ''I don't think you can carry things around with you … you'd spend your whole life not getting over things,'' he said.

''It is what it is. It was an unfortunate incident or situation. I don't think it was a personal thing. Adam and I have never had any issues so I know it wasn't a personal thing.''

Saffy said the time on the sidelines had allowed him to explore other parts of his life, such as concentrating on his commerce degree, doing work experience with a city-based financial services company and helping in the Melbourne Rebels' marketing department.

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NZL 20 vs ENG 15 Report Stats
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