Retired Adelaide defender Brent Reilly was shocked by temporary paralysis to one side of his face following the career-ending pre-season mishap. Reilly developed Bell’s palsy in the days following the surgery to repair a fractured skull from the training accident.
“I just felt like I couldn’t move the left hand side of my face. I could feel it, but I just couldn’t move it,” he told Seven’s Saturday Night Footy.
“The incident was quite scary at the time. I can’t remember much of it, a skull fracture and, yeah, I feel very lucky to be here for what I’ve gone through.” – brent reilly
“It didn’t really start getting better until three weeks after (surgery). During that three-week period, I was thinking, ‘Is my face going to be like this forever?'”
The veteran defender, who played 203 games for the Crows after being recruited from the Calder Cannons, admitted thinking he may not recover from the freakish injury.
“The incident was quite scary at the time. I can’t remember much of it, a skull fracture and, yeah, I feel very lucky to be here for what I’ve gone through,’’ the 31-year-old said.
Reilly’s wife Jamie told of her shock at her husband’s incoherent state when she rushed to hospital after the incident.
“I walked straight into emergency and as soon as I saw Brent, it was so scary,” she said.
“He was just looking up and I was so worried. I asked him all these questions and he wasn’t answering the right ones.”
Reilly paid tribute to his wife, family, football community for their care and comfort during his recovery.
“When times are bad you have a lot of people out there who care about you. The support staff, players, past players, the AFL community, the AFLPA, friends and family.
“The support we’ve had has been overwhelming.”