Hooker is back after 14 months out after breaking his leg and dislocating his ankle
MICHAEL McIlorum has lifted the lid on his injury hell – and how he is helping Sam Tomkins through his.
The Wigan hooker made his long-awaited comeback in Friday’s derby win over St Helens, 14 months after breaking his leg and dislocating his ankle against Brisbane in the World Club Series.
But he has revealed how former Great Britain international turned Sky pundit Brian Carney played a big part in his recovery after a setback, which he is now passing on to England ace Tomkins.
The star full-back faces even longer out after having metal plates removed from his foot, even though they were meant to aid recovery.
But McIlorum knows all too well that getting rid of them could be a good thing.
He said: “When there were complications with the metal plates and a bit of nerve damage, that was frustrating but once I had the plates removed, I felt 100 times better.
“Before I had the plates out, it was six months before I was running again and there was no real progression with that really until I had the plates out, and that was only about six or seven weeks ago.
“I’ve been passing things on to Sam, who has also been having problems with the plates in his foot. I spoke to Brian Carney, who had a similar injury a few years ago. He said, ‘I think it would benefit you getting the plates out,’ and I’ve said the same to Sam.”
McIlorum could hardly have picked a bigger, more dramatic game to come back in.
Even before he came on, Saints were reduced to 12 men as Kyle Amor was sent off.
But the 29-year-old had had enough of watching – especially after seeing his pals grab domestic and international glory.
He added: “I was counting down the minutes as I sat on the bench, just until I could get out there.
“There was a plan in place to go on around the 30 minute mark and do 10 minutes after half-time too. I don’t think the sending off affected that plan.
“I’m not a massive rugby league watcher myself but while I was out, the boys had quite a bit of success in winning Super League and the World Club Challenge, which I haven’t won in my career yet, so that was bitter-sweet really.”
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