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Mighty Menzel

Staff writers  January 31, 2013 7:53 AM

Daniel Menzel has revealed his pre-season of torture, undergoing a third reconstruction and a bout of meningitis.

Speaking with the Herald Sun, Menzel told of his LARS surgery to fix the left knee he injured just before Christmas.

In some good news for Menzel however he received the all clear from his surgeon yesterday to start running with a look to returning in the VFL by Round 1.

"Because I'd already had two conventional reconstructions we weren't going to do a third one," Menzel said. "Two in a row is hard enough mentally, three is too much.

"(Fremantle's Anthony) Morabito has had exactly the same thing and he's having LARS as well because you just can't do three (reconstructions) back to back pretty much."

"I never ever thought about quitting or giving up," he says. "A lot of bad things do go through your head but the LARS is such a quick turnaround, three months, which is not long in the scheme of things."

"I went to see the surgeon straight away and he said the ACL felt good but I still had scans. Our doctor here saw the scans and thought they looked OK but then rang back an hour later and said he'd spoken to the surgeon and they weren't as good as what we first thought.

"So my emotions were all over the place and then we had to wait a week to see how the knee pulled up."

"I am able to do anything with my knee right now," he said. "The actual joint is fixed once the LARS has been put in so it's totally different.

"I mean two weeks ago I was on crutches and now I'm running."

Menzel's brother, Troy, also underwent a LARS operation as a 16 year old.

"He went straight to LARS which was different but he spoke to three or four surgeons in Adelaide and they said there is not a lot of research on LARS which is why people tend to shy away from it.

"But they all thought it worked pretty well so he went with it."

In a further twist Daniel also revealed he suffered from a bout of meningitis when he returned home from his Christmas break in Adelaide.

"I had the worst headache for three days straight and I just thought it was heat stroke because I'd been at the beach but I came back here and had some blood tests.

"It turned out to be meningitis and someone told me that you can die from it. I had no idea.

"I'd had my wisdom teeth out a week before the knee operation so my body was knocked around a bit which is probably why I got sick.

"So it's fair to say it's been an interesting two months."