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Tuesday, 21 November 2017 11:44 am

Magpies debut still a possibility for Gardner despite arm injury

Aug 25th, 2017 | By | Category: Editor's Picks, Front Page Layout, Latest News, News

Matt Gardner playing for Napier Old Boys Marist. Image: NOBM

Hawkes Bay Magpie Matt Gardner is hoping to finally get good news today for his damaged forearm.

The Bay club player of the year is getting a bone scan this morning to determine the severity of an injury suffered in preseason.

In a cruel twist of fate, the injury almost exactly mirrored one he suffered a year earlier in the same pre-season game against Manawatu in Palmerston North.

“Holy crap this is just déjà vu,” said Gardner, who still hopes to make his Magpies debut this year.

“The exact same stadium, trying to tackle the hooker again.

“It almost happened in slow motion, they just dropped right onto the forearm, it all went numb, then pins and needles, then a sharp searing pain.

“I was like ‘oh my god I’ve broken it again’.”

Early reports suggested Gardner would be out for the season, but unlike last year no break was found on the initial x-rays that night.

“We were all like ‘that’s great news’.

“Since then a couple x-rays still haven’t really shown anything.”

The bone scan will hopefully reveal the cause of the problem – likely to be cracks in the screw in a plate in Gardner’s arm.

“I just want to find out what’s wrong with my arm first, before we can all start writing me off.”

The injury is the latest setback in a horror run stretching back to Gardner’s first year of university.

“I’m doing all the training stuff with the Magpies, unfortunately I’m just more of a waterboy now.”

He says it has made him think hard about his rugby future, but is trying to make the best of it.

“The environment and the culture in the Magpies, all those guys are really good guys.

“Fitting into this Hawke’s Bay crew, it really helps.”

Gardner says he can still learn a lot from the older heads in the team.

“The likes of Gareth Evans, I try to play like him, he’s a guy I’ve looked up to.”

Gardner says he was star-struck at his first gym session with the team, having grown up as a fan.

“Hawke’s Bay is just such a rugby-proud province.”

He and other Magpies fans will be hoping for another win tonight when Hawke’s Bay plays Bay of Plenty in Rotorua.

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