Majak Daw returns to North Melbourne for team photo

Majak Daw has joined his North Melbourne teammates on Monday afternoon for the annual team photo.

Daw returned to the club a couple of weeks ago and a slight limp on Monday was the only sign of his serious injuries suffered in December, when he fell from the Bolte Bridge.

The 27-year-old suffered hip and pelvis injuries in the fall and it is unclear whether he will play this season.

Daw had a broad grin at the team photo session and captain Jack Ziebell said the Kangaroos are rapt to have him back.

“He’s loving being back at the footy club as well, which is awesome to see,” Ziebell said.

“A footy club is a great place to be around and no doubt Maj is enjoying his time at the moment.

“He’s going to look forward to getting stuck back into some training and getting his body right again.

“We’re pumped to have him back.”

The Kangaroos skipper said it is several days since Daw ditched his crutches.

“He’s moving pretty well, as everyone saw today, so we’re just ecstatic he’s around the boys and I think he’s pretty happy with that too,” he said.

“Everyone is just joyful that he’s back. The smile on his face, more importantly, but (also) on everyone else’s faces when he walked in, it’s awesome to see.

“You can’t make that sort of stuff up, it’s pretty cool.”

Daw’s incident put the focus back on mental health in the AFL and he said in a public letter that he had been blessed with a second chance at life.

“There is a big focus in the AFL on the mental health space and our club has been great, the support that Maj has received and our footy club has received,” Ziebell said.

“There is definitely change occurring behind closed doors, which is great for everyone.”

But Ziebell is unsure when Daw will play again.

“We’ll have to wait and see. I know he really does want to play but he has to jump a few hurdles,” he said.

Long road to return

It has been a tough couple of months for Daw and his North Melbourne teammates.

The 27-year-old, who hails from war-torn South Sudan, after he was found by Victorian emergency services, having plunged from the Bolte Bridge in December.

He issued his first statement on the matter back in January, in an open letter published on the North Melbourne website.

“To all our beloved fans and members, I just wanted to thank everyone for their love and support over the past month” the letter read.

“The circumstances surrounding my incident have been extremely challenging for my family, friends and anyone that knows me for that matter.

“I’m making huge strides with my recovery, both physically and mentally. I have been blessed with a second chance at life.

“My attitude and outlook towards everything has improved. I hope to be back out there playing in the blue and white stripes soon.

“Thank you all for respecting my need for privacy and for giving me the chance to get better going forward.”

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