Goal umpire, Courtney Lai has been quietly working in the background rehabilitating his knee that had to be reconstructed following that awful collision with Liam Picken in round two 2013.
Courtney began umpiring in the TAC Cup some 10 weeks ago. As his confidence grew so did his appetite to return to the highest level. By his own admission he wasn’t certain whether he would ever make it.
On Monday at training, Courtney ran his five kilometre time trial in 22.40 min, his slowest ever but well within the benchmark time and now he is available for AFL selection. Courtney is umpiring his third senior VFL game this weekend and is regaining the flexibility and strength to enable him to twist and turn, a capability that was his hallmark as a goal umpire prior to the clash.
We look forward to celebrating his first game back, whenever that might be. One thing is certain it will be sooner than Courtney ever imagined when he was carried off the field over 18 months ago.