YOU?LL NEVER PLAY LEAGUE AGAIN
By CRAIG McTEAR
MACKSVILLE rugby league star Rod Jarrett will never play footy again.
He will be lucky to manage even a slow jog and for at least the next nine months he won't be able to walk.
The rampaging forward, who turns 23 in November, hasn't even heard the terrible news yet. He's been in an induced coma in Sydney's Prince of Wales Hospital since Saturday after a fishing accident which could have claimed his life.
Rod was with his mates on the South West Rocks northern breakwall at 12.30pm when he detected instability in the large boulder he was standing on.
He jumped from it, but the massive rock moved forward and rolled over him as it tumbled into the Macleay River.
As well as breaking his pelvis, he also smashed bones and sliced tendons and arteries in his right foot, which surgeons were working to repair yesterday.
His elder brother and first grade team-mate, Gary, dreads having to tell Rod his promising football career is now over.
"That will break him," Gary said yesterday.
Gary knows the aches and breaks will heal in time. He's just thankful his little brother is still alive.
"It gets you thinking that when you see people arguing, life is too short," he said.
"They reckon his bulk ? he weighs up to 100 kilograms ? helped save him."
Rod's accident has devastated his extended family, his close-knit club and the wider rugby league community.
Club president Ritchie Donovan has known Rod since he was a little fella, and their families are as close as you can get.
"He's one of the most beautiful people you'd ever care to meet," Ritchie said. "He's pretty easy going, laidback, and quiet. He's a gentleman.
The Sea Eagles are falling in behind Rod and his partner, Heidi, raising funds to help them travel on what is going to be a very long recovery road.
Rod ? whose condition remained serious but stable late yesterday ? isn't expected to return home for three to six months.