Ryan Papenhuyzen has revealed teammate Nelson Asofa-Solomona copped unwarranted criticism after the Storm fullback's horrific injury during the NRL finals earlier this month. The NRL world was left in utter shock when Papenhuyzen, having just come back from a 12-month injury, went down screaming in pain.
The fullback was attempting a tackle when his leg became stuck under teammate Asofa-Solomona. Players watched on in horror as Papenhuyzen was stretched off the field in pain having sustained a broken ankle.
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Papenhuyzen had only just returned from a shattered knee cap, which kept him out of the game for more than 12 months. The NRL world couldn't believe the situation with Papenhuyzen facing another long recovery.
And Papenhuyzen has told the Clubhouse Podcast he is usually upbeat, but his latest injury certainly took a toll on him having just come back from a sickening accident.
“It is a bit unfortunate. It is hard because I am usually a really positive guy, but I think this one hit me a bit harder just purely because it has taken me so long from the knee to come back and I’m just sitting knowing that I have, not as long in front of me, but I do have another rehab and it does require a lot of mental and physical energy," he said on the podcast.
“I think it is just wrapping your head around going back for that journey so yeah it sucks and I think I am still coming to terms with it." The fullback's teammate, Jahrome Hughes, joined him on the podcast and admitted the team was in shock seconds after the initial incident having watched Papenhuyzen fight his way back from the knee injury.
Nelson Asofa-Solomona cops criticism over injury
However, in a startling revelation, Papenhuyzen also said he couldn't believe the criticism that fell on teammate Asofa-Solomona. The injury was a complete accident, but the fullback revealed the Storm forward copped backlash over his role in the tackle.
“I guess it was a bit unlucky I got caught under Nelson,” Papenhuyzen said. “Poor Nelson he had been getting messages from I wouldn’t say fans if they are saying this stuff to him, but he has been copping it pretty hard since then.
“Just about, why would you throw yourself in that position? And all this sorts of stuff. I was just like, mate accidents happen."
Cameron Munster, who was with Hughes on the podcast, blasted the NRL fans who had sent Asofa-Solomona the unwarranted messages.
Coach Craig Bellamy was left shattered for his fullback after the initial incident having also watched him work his way back to fitness."He's in a whole heap of pain and it's a suspected broken ankle," Bellamy said. "I can't imagine how he's feeling at the moment.
"The amount of work he put in to get back to playing again, then get back into the NRL too. It wasn't a great night anyway, and it made it a lot worse."
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