Rory Sloane has gone into detail about the emergency surgery he was forced to undergo to fix a detached retina last month. The veteran AFL star has experienced a number of eye complaints in the past, with his latest issue leaving many fans fearing for the future of the Adelaide Crows champion.
To his credit though, Sloane has been able to see the funny side of his latest hospital visit and shared a humorous, and at times gruesome, account of the procedure involved to fix his eye. The 33-year-old posted a video message on Instagram talking about the eye surgery, which included a 'sensitive content' warning to viewers as it contained clips from the actual eye operation that would make many people feel a little squeamish.
Sloane appeared to be sitting poolside in the clip as he used a funny analogy to explain what a detached retina was and the procedure to fix it. “Your retina is like your favourite Tracks mag poster, you know the one with the hot bikini girl on it, maybe a cowboy hat on, let’s call it Belinda for names sake,” Sloane said, in a cheeky reference to his wife of the same name.
“So Belinda is stuck on a wall and it is starting to come off and there is fluid in behind... so what you need to do is stick it back on the wall because if Belinda falls down and goes to the ground you lose your eyesight. So to do that they torture you, they pin you down, eye open and inject you with a couple of locals to make sure you don’t feel a thing.
“Then they use a dry ice gun to stick that poster back on the wall and to keep the torture going they take out some of the fluid... and then they use an even bigger needle and they inject your eye with a gas bubble. The way that gas bubble works it to make sure your retina or that poster of Belinda is stuck against the wall, like a spirit level.”
Rory Sloane recovering after latest eye surgery
Sloane - who is tipped by many to call time on his AFL career after the 2024 season - reported soreness in his right eye after a recent training session with the Crows. The AFL club confirmed after the eye operation that the surgery was a success and that the former club captain was in recovery.
"As is typical with Sloaney, he is very positive and given he has been through this before, he understands what the process will look like from here," Adelaide's high-performance manager Darren Burgess said in a statement. "He will spend the next five days recovering at home. Given the nature of the injury we will be guided by the specialists and his recovery before deciding on a return date for training."
Sloane underwent a similar operation in 2021 and opened up about how it had affected him. "A detached retina is pretty serious," he said at the time. "That is something I learnt pretty quickly - without getting the proper procedure and doing the recovery right, there could have been some real long-term effects. That was the driving force for me - forget footy, your vision is for life."
Sloane suffered another scare in August last year when he was subbed out of a game with an eye complaint, but on that occasion he was cleared of any damage to the retina. In 2017 the former Crows captain also suffered a fractured eye socket.
The 33-year-old announced last year that he'd signed a one-year contract extension for the 2024 season, bucking a trend of veteran players calling it quits in 2023. Sloane made a successful return from a knee reconstruction in 2022 to play every game for the Crows in 2023.
A former All-Australian and two-time club best-and-fairest player, Sloane said after signing his contract extension with the Crows that he was excited by the progress the team had made last year and looking forward to see where they were heading in 2024. With this season more than likely to be the 16th and final one of a storied career for Sloane, fans will be buoyed by the positive update from his latest health scare.
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