Majak Daw fell from the Bolte Bridge in Melbourne last December, suffering hip and pelvis injuries.
It was unclear whether he’d play footy again after the harrowing ordeal, but he’s since made an inspirational return to pre-season training with North Melbourne.
On Thursday, he ran for the first time since suffering the injuries.
It was a momentous milestone for the Kangaroos star, and one that was made all the more special by a surprise from his teammates.
As Daw jumped onto the treadmill, his teammates came bursting into the gym in applause.
They then cheered and clapped as their mate took his first run in nearly three months, bringing a huge smile to Daw’s face.
“So something pretty amazing happened today,” Daw wrote on Instagram afterwards.
“I’m so thankful for all the support that’s got me to this stage.”
NBA star and fellow Sudanese player Luol Deng responded.
“Thanks for the kind words,” Daw wrote back.
“It’s incredible the support I’ve been getting. One of the reasons I’ve come so far.”
The sporting world was also touched by the wonderful scenes.
So good Majak👌🏾
— Shaun Burgoyne (@ShaunBurgoyne9) March 14, 2019
Great to see, all the best Majak!
— Sydney Swans (@sydneyswans) March 14, 2019
— GWS GIANTS (@GWSGIANTS) March 14, 2019
— West Coast Eagles (@WestCoastEagles) March 14, 2019
So good! Well done, Maj 👏
— Essendon FC (@essendonfc) March 14, 2019
All the best, Maj. 🙌
— Carlton FC (@CarltonFC) March 14, 2019
Great to see! All the best, Majak.
— St Kilda FC (@stkildafc) March 14, 2019
— Western Bulldogs (@westernbulldogs) March 14, 2019
Fantastic!! Well done Majak. 👍
— Sabra Lane (@SabraLane) March 14, 2019
— Laura Macintosh (@ljmac2) March 14, 2019
That smile on his face! What a lovely lovely moment.
— Laurel Irving (@laurelirving7) March 14, 2019
This is so awesome 😎
— Red Mario (@worldinred) March 14, 2019
‘Change occurring behind closed doors’
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,” teammate Jack 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.
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