On the mend

Ironman Matt Poole eyes a return to competition in September
Matt Poole - Portrait © Brian Bielmann/Red Bull Content Pool
By Josh Rakic

Ironman Matt Poole is one step closer - excuse the pun - to returning to competition after undergoing surgery to remove six pins from the leg he broke during his surf trip to the Mentawais earlier this year. In what turned out to be the worst holiday ever, Pooley made an innocuous turn only to end up breaking bones, displacing others and tearing ligaments. But that was back in early May and three months on, a tough-as-guts Pooley has beaten all odds to be back on his feet in record time.

“I had surgery last Monday to remove all the pins and the ankle felt better instantly,” said Pooley, who is currently enjoying a post-surgery holiday in Hawaii.

“I had six pins removed in all after leaving them in for two months but I have a plate in my ankle which will stay forever! So hopefully that will prevent any further damage.

“I don't have great mobility in my foot just yet. But I spent nine days out of water with stitches in before having them removed and coming to Hawaii for a holiday. But I’m looking forward to getting back into training.” And while he has some big hurdles to overcome, Pooley is confident he’ll be back fighting fit in time for the Surf Ironman series come November courtesy of a strict rehab regime when he returns to Australia.

At this stage, the strength feels pretty good, the bones have healed and it’s a matter of getting that mobility back

“I’m hoping I can get full flexibility back in my foot most importantly for when I'm board paddling. Running will be fine in time but it’s the board for me that’s most important at this stage.

“When I get back at the start of August I will be doing my rehab training out of the AIS gym where I will begin running on an Alter-G anti-gravity treadmill which allows me to run without the weight and pressure on my ankle.

“I will start swimming, ski, board and gym training as normal, too.” And if all goes well, he’s still holding out hope of a miracle return in September to represent Australia at the world champs. “I’ve been selected in the Aus team and I’d love nothing more to do it,” Pooley says.

“In all honestly, I’m probably 50/50 at this stage and my main focus is to be back for the Nutri- Grain Ironman series this summer. But if I have no setbacks I'm determined to make it in time for September. I’m more determined now than ever. “So I’m not ruling it out.”

A politician in the true sense of the term...

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