Pies coach Dan Casey suffers serious foot injury

Dan Casey at Ballarat Base Hospital yesterday. Picture: Adam Trafford.

Dan Casey at Ballarat Base Hospital yesterday. Picture: Adam Trafford.

OUTGOING Camperdown coach Dan Casey says quick-thinking work colleagues saved his life.

Casey’s right foot was crushed in the grab of a bobcat bucket in a workplace accident at Lake Bolac last Thursday.

At first he tried to walk away but collapsed as blood poured from his foot.

“I thought it had cut it right through,” he said. “The boys were sensational. If they had taken the boot off I would have definitely bled out.”

He was rushed by ambulance to Ballarat Base Hospital where he underwent surgery. He had four wounds, two from the grab, one from bones going through the bottom of his foot and one from bones that burst through the top.

The star full-forward remains unsure what will happen with the foot that helped him win the Hampden league’s goalkicking award in 2013.

He was told to prepare for the possibility of having it amputated. But after two surgical procedures and another tomorrow to have rods and bolts inserted, the outlook might be better.

Casey said medical experts were hoping he would regain blood flow to his toes.

“I might only lose two (toes) or I could lose them all. All my bones are broken,” he said.

“I’m pretty lucky. It could have been a lot worse. There are people a lot worse off than me.

“The worst thing I can’t do is play footy. I can still be involved, I can still coach. More importantly I can still pick up my kids.”  Casey said his foot had to be reconstructed.

“It’s a day-by-day thing,” he said. “Hopefully the next couple of days they will rebuild my foot. They have given me worst-case scenarios so I’m going with them.” Casey is expecting to be transferred from Ballarat to Melbourne for surgery tomorrow before a long rehabilitation process.

Pies coach Dan Casey before his accident.

Pies coach Dan Casey before his accident.

The father of two young girls wanted to thank family and friends.

“I’ve been completely overwhelmed by the support. It’s been unbelievable,” he said. 

“People have been offering to cook tea for my wife and kids. Bill Mahony and his kids Luke and Jake have been unbelievable. 

“The support from family, friends and people I haven’t even met before. ”

He said Camperdown teammates Alex Place, Jesse Gallichan, Luke and Jake Mahony and Mitch Danahay had completed some jobs around the Casey house, which is on the market.

“It’s just amazing,” he said.

Casey, a former Colac footballer, said he watched a live stream of the Tigers’ Geelong Football League premiership win from his hospital bed while getting scores from the Hampden league decider on Saturday.

“It took us 10 years (at Colac) to try and win one. They won and you miss out. A couple of the (Colac) boys were straight on the phone to me. I said ‘mate you’ve just won a premiership. What are you doing ringing me?’ They said ‘you’ve just lost your foot. It’s more important than a premiership’.”

Casey, who was yet to determine his playing future after stepping down from coaching, said he no longer had a choice to make.

“I would still like to coach,” he said.

grbest@fairfaxmedia.com.au

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