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Dunster: I got the news and just started crying

I’m still coming to terms with what happened in our first trial game against the St George Illawarra Dragons.

I did my ACL, MCL and, PCL.

It was meant to be my breakout season.

Well that was the plan.

But, I still believe this could be a defining moment in my career.

I’m only 23 after all.

MY BEST PRE-SEASON EVER

I thought I had a good pre-season, probably the strongest I’ve ever had. I was just really looking forward to putting it all in action.

I was excited.

I felt like I picked up some form on the back of last year and I was being primed for the starting line-up.

The team went really well last year and our squad this season is basically the same.

It’s probably the most work I’ve put in on and off the field in pre-season.

I sort of knuckled down on my diet and really tried to do the little stuff, like extras and recovery.

I was hanging out with Ice (Isaiah Papali’i) a lot after seeing him do all his recovery and stretches and stuff after each game and session.

It really made me want to knuckle down on that.

Seeing the form he had last year, I wanted to see if those sorts of things would do any good for me as well.

I think the team this year will go far, but I just would have loved to have been a part of it all.

THE TACKLE

I remember it like yesterday.

We were only 13 minutes in when things went pear-shaped.

There was a bit of space on the short side and I thought ‘oh we might be on here’.

Then I saw Tyrell (Fuimaono) back on the inside. I went off my left foot and things got a bit twisted and my leg got caught under his body and I just felt a pop straight away and I just knew things were bad when I heard that.

I was just thinking f*** this is probably my season over. I was just sort of hoping for the best.

I was hoping it was an MCL and have a few months off and eventually come back.

I couldn’t walk properly and I thought man this isn’t good. It was just really shattering. Especially being the first game, the first trial. Pretty heartbreaking.

POSITIVE THOUGHTS ... BAD THOUGHTS

I’ve done my MCL (when I was 12) before but didn’t tear it.

It was a different feeling this time.

I was pretty emotional and trying to look at the positives.

I didn’t get my scans until the next morning, so I was just thinking I’ve still got a chance here.

I woke up and it was swollen as. I was just trying to stay positive until I got to the scans.

I just left the imaging place and Doc called me and I was with my partner and George Dansey (Club Chaplain) had just shown up.

Doc called me and told me the news and I just started crying.

THE SUPPORT ... OH MAN, THE SUPPORT

The boys, and people have reached out to me and said they’ve had injuries similar and set them back.

Will Smith gave me some good pointers, and Latrell Mitchell and even Blake Ferguson reached out and said this can be a big defining moment in your career. You can choose how it goes.

That gave me a lot of motivation.

It made me keen for my return.

Once I can get moving again and get into the gym again and doing that stuff I think I’ll really find that determination to get back.

MY GIRLFIREND'S BROTHER ... WHO MADE THE TACKLE 

I’ve known Tyrell since I have been with his sister Taliah in Year Eight.

So, I’ve known him for a bit.

He wouldn’t do anything like that on purpose.

He saw me after the game to see if I was alright and then he called me the next day when I found out the news and he was just as shattered as I was.

Some of the stories that came out in the media … Oh man.

It was a bit far-fetched.

No one even reached out to me to talk (before writing the stories)

DEFINING MOMENT IN MY CAREER?

I have a year off footy, so now I will stay in the waiting room a bit longer.

I’ll put on some extra size and then once I get back running again, hopefully I can focus on all the little things I need to do.

What I might even try, is to just get skills for the centre position so I’m ready if they need me to go there.

All the support that has been coming through is what’s really helped me.

I haven’t gotten around to replying to everyone because it feels a bit repetitive saying the same thing,

I just want to say thank you.

All the support and messages I’ve been getting is helping so much.

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