WARRNAMBOOL rising star Liam Hoy knew he’d pushed his body too far.
The dreaded diagnosis of osteitis pubis confirmed his suspicions.
It became the first major obstacle in Hoy’s fledgling football career and has cast doubt on his 2014 season.
At 17, the strong-bodied midfielder had already experienced the highs of football many spend a career chasing.
Hoy collected his second Hampden league senior premiership last September and had a solid TAC Cup debut season with North Ballarat Rebels.
Everything pointed to another memorable season, with both the Blues and Rebels.
Then injury struck.
Hoy, who turned 18 in January, said the injury “came at the wrong time”.
“I played through but it got bad,” he said.
“After the grand final I only rested for a month and started training with Darcy Graham and we pushed ourselves hard and I think I overloaded on training and it flared up.
“I went to three physios and they all had the same diagnosis.”
North Ballarat Rebels offered Hoy a place on their long-term injury list, giving him a chance to resurrect his TAC Cup career if form and fitness with Warrnambool warrants it later in the season.
His rehabilitation has been slow and steady.
He maintained his fitness with bike riding, swimming and core exercises in the gym and started jogging a month ago.
“It is hard not training with the boys and seeing them have fun on the track,” Hoy said. “I am getting to the stage where I can run and be a part of it.”
Hoy said the injury, the first major setback of his career, had helped him mature as a footballer.
“I have learnt how much I love footy and miss training and learnt to listen to my body instead of pushing through the pain,” he said.
“If it’s sore, stop.”
The 177-centimetre dynamo played 14 games for the Rebels in 2013 and was in their leadership group as a bottom-age player.
He felt ready to increase his output as a top-age player.
“That was the most frustrating part,” he said.
“I felt I established myself and learnt a heap last year as a bottom-age player and this year thought I’d take off and show what I can do.
“Now I can’t play until May, June or July and it’s a kick in the arse really.”
Hoy still hopes he can add to his TAC Cup games tally.
The team-oriented teenager, who will support both clubs during his rehabilitation, said he was desperate to play for the Rebels again.
“I have been in the Rebels a couple of years with under 16s and bottom-age under 18s and it would have been good to play finals for the Rebels,” Hoy said.
“That is still an option, if I am fit.”
Hoy said it was also important to him to help Warrnambool attempt to win its third straight premiership.