Adelaide United defender Jordan Elsey shares with the PFA the disappointments of suffering two ACL ruptures in three seasons, the road back to full fitness and how he has continued to look forward.

“It was a strange feeling like I have never felt before. I was like ‘is it really me again, where is this bad luck coming from,?’” Elsey said of the moment he was told he had suffered his second ACL rupture in just three seasons.

It had come as a shock. Fifteen minutes into a pre-season match in Malaysia he felt some pain in his knee. He continued to play on, certain it was nothing too serious. When the tour concluded he was sent for scans which confirmed what he had not contemplated – he would need a full knee reconstruction.

“I had told the physio there was nothing wrong with it. I was a little bit swollen, but I had said to the physio that I didn’t need a scan,” said the Reds defender. “I couldn’t believe it was happening again when they told me the news.”

In 2014 Elsey had suffered an ACL rupture. It followed what been a hugely impressive rise for the young defender who had been awarded the club’s Rising Star award for the 2013/14 season.

“I remember when I got injured the first time around there was a lot of things running through my head and I didn’t really know what to expect. Luckily the senior boys like Nigel Boogaard were really supportive and reassured me that I would be back and I just tried to focus on my rehab. Thankfully I’m a pretty positive person and I think that really helped me the first time and it has already this time.”

The proof that this was the case for Elsey was there for all to see last season. Just nine months on from the injury, he returned to the A-League and quickly set about becoming a key component in the Reds’ Championship winning season.

The focus  to recover is the same once again for Elsey. He will continue to look forward not back. “It was a surprise last time around how quickly I got in the team. I played one youth game about a week before and then I was on the bench. When you are a centre back on the bench you only think you are going to come on if there is an injury and that it is unlikely, then Osama Malik got injured 15 minutes into the game and I was on. Nothing was going through my head at all I didn’t think about knee at all. It was game time and all I was thinking about was what I had to do.”

His ambition is to continue to progress as a player and return to the pitch better than before. “I’m involved in everything whether that is a video session or watching a tactical session and when I came back from my injury I knew what I had to do if I had to come in and do a job.”

Like AFL star Daniel Menzel, Elsey will document his recovery from injury.

“I watched Daniel Menzel’s documentary on his recovery from an ACL tear and wanted to do something similar. I think it will be good for me to look back on where I have come from and what I went through to get back playing.”

This journey will be recorded, but the focus will remain on what lies ahead.

The PFA supports its members in coping with the difficulties associated with injury through a world class insurance program and comprehensive player support and and wellbeing services. For more information contact your Player Development Manager or PFA Player Development Executive Jy Bond via