Richmond's Astbury describes stingray dramas

Tom Browne


This pre-season tale has a sting in it.

David Astbury was back at Punt Road this morning, where the popular Richmond Defender spoke exclusively to Seven News about his run-in with a stingray last Wednesday.

“I was in the water for about 10 minutes and unfortunately I stood on the body of a stingray, it sort of barbed me pretty hard on the inside of my left foot, and into my ankle.”

“Sometimes life throws you a curve ball and mine was a stingray.”

The 24 year-old was doing extra recovery in Port Melbourne on his day off, and the incident left Astbury in excruciating pain.

“The poison they have brings on quite a bit of pain, and it thins the blood as well, so there was obviously a fair amount of bleeding.”

Despite the discomfort, Asbtury made the quick decision to drive himself the Alfred Hospital, a 20 minute trip to Prahran.

“The trip to the Alfred was quite an interesting one. I was on the phone the whole time. I’ve told a few people it was more painful that dislocating my kneecap. Let’s hope it doesn’t happen again.”

Astbury made the calls seeking reassurance, initially unaware of the extent of the injury, or the effect of any poison.

“I didn’t have the best run to the Alfred unfortunately. I spoke to my sister, the club doctor, and another one of my friends. They sort of calmed me down. And the people there are the Alfred were very helpful.”

Doctors operated to remove the barb.

“I am pretty sure they opened up a little bit and it was a minute piece.”

“The surgeon said it all went well and I’ve got stiches there for a few weeks, because obviously there is not a lot of blood flow to the foot.”

“They sort of got a bit of the barb out, and some other foreign bodies.”

The affable Astbury was off crutches and back at Punt Road this morning, and while he’s eyeing off a round 2 return, he hinted it might be longer.

Stingray wounds are serious, and the poison can present an ongoing risk of infection.

“I am looking forward to hopefully putting my hand up in round 2, but we’ll wait and see how it progresses.”

Astbury played only 8 games last season because of a knee injury, and was on track for round 1 after a positive pre-season.

“I was sort of getting a good run at it. I had a good hit out against North Melbourne and thought I was preparing myself well for the season.”

He’ll be hoping for better luck once he returns.