In his latest column for Talking Rugby Union, Josh Beaumont discusses his road to recovery, Sale's youngsters shining this autumn + he looks ahead to the festive period for Alex Sanderson's side.
Two years ago, I obviously completely ruptured my right patellar tendon on my right knee. When I was rehabbing that knee, I was probably offloading more off my left knee which had tendonitis in any way so that was beginning to wear down a bit.
I noticed it last year when I had that run of games and just towards the end of the year, it was becoming increasingly painful. It was against Quins at home, which was the second to last game of the season, where I caught a kick-off and knocked into another player and it really aggravated it.
I went for a scan and it showed a bit of bone had chipped off. I spoke to one of the specialists and we thought the best course was to try and rehab it over the summer, get it stronger and see where it was.
A fairytale comeback after 14 months out, Josh Beaumont bagged the winner for @SaleSharksRugby in Round 5 ??— Premiership Rugby (@premrugby) January 6, 2021
He's @davidflatman's @LandRoverRugby Player of the Round ??
How good was it to see him back in action? pic.twitter.com/gMF3JeWEvk
Unfortunately, I think it was my first unit session back and I knew something wasn't right after a couple of line-out jumps. I went to scrummage and just kneeling on it was absolute agony and I knew I couldn't just ignore it.
I went to see Andy Williams [knee surgeon] down in London. He had a look at the scans again. We decided the best course of action was to have surgery at the start of September.
I have been rehabbing since then and it has been going well. I am roughly looking to get back in March time, but it just needed the surgery so it wouldn't fully rupture like my right one because I would have been in trouble. I am now walking around fine and starting to load it in the gym, so it has reacted pretty well.
I was absolutely gutted to miss out on the Premiership semi-final last year. I feel like I could have added value as we picked up a few other injuries around that time. Weirdly though, you get used to the rehab process and the disappointment when you have gone through it a few times.
It doesn't get any easier the older you get. When I was younger, I found it easier when I had setbacks because you didn't really fully know the consequences. I still hope to have a long career and I still have another good four or five years in me.
The main thing is you just have to stay positive. It is nice being in the gym now and being able to see some progression, but it is tough because you obviously want to be out there. At the moment, there is a good crew of us in the gym rehabbing. Faf is out, Sam Hill, James Harper as well, so there is a good group of us who make sure we're not alone. We can have a laugh and we can enjoy rehabbing as much as you can do!
It has been an up and down start to the season. We had a lot of consistency towards the end of last year and we just haven't found that so far. In a way, the tough start is maybe what we needed because we haven't had that as a group since Alex [Sanderson] has come in in terms of that disappointment of back-to-back defeats. We have been learning how to deal with that.
Now, we are almost seeing it as a reset. We are coming off a pretty dominant win in the Premiership over Northampton last time out and we had a good win on Friday night against Newcastle. We got the international guys back on Monday and it feels like we have a good, exciting block of games coming forward into Europe. That pushes you on to get back quicker!
We had four guys in the squad for the last two England games. I don't think we have had that at the club since I have been here so it is great. I think it will make the other guys in the squad want to push on for international honours and Alex has always said he wants to push his players to the very highest level.
We watched a little highlights reel of them all on Monday, especially when Tom [Curry] ran into Lood de Jager at the weekend. That got a few laughs in the team meeting! It's nice that England got that win! Obviously, South Africa had the Lions in the summer, so I am sure Tom is relieved to come back in and he has got the bragging rights now!
With Bevan and Raff, we see it in training all the time. We see it in games when other people might not be watching. They are definitely stars of the future.
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Bevan got a lot more game time last year and showed what he can do around the park. He held up well at the weekend and against Australia.
Raffi showed in that Quins game this season a couple of weeks before the squad was announced what he can do. I think that was his big moment announcing himself in a Friday night game against Danny Care. He went really well in a high pressurised game and I think that was probably all Eddie [Jones] needed to see of him to give him a chance!
Manu has looked back to his best as well! He is a great lad to have around the training ground. He is making his coffee, always smiling and there to have a chat. He picks you up straight away. Obviously, it is a shame he got that injury, but hopefully it is not too serious and we will have him back out there soon enough.
There is definitely a lot to be excited for from an England perspective and I think it sets it up for the Six Nations really well. The France performance against New Zealand and the way Ireland have played as well means it could probably be the most competitive Six Nations going when that comes around.
Firstly, it is gutting to see AJ [MacGinty] go. He is a great lad and has been playing unbelievably well for us over the last year and a half or so, so it is now over to Fordy! I have been in a few squads with him and I think on paper, it should really work out for the club and it will be great to see Fordy compete with Rob [Du Preez] and the young 10s at the club.
I think he is back up north and living in Saddleworth, so he should be pretty settled when he gets here. He is also in the form of his life so it is a very exciting signing for the club!
Sale Sharks' Josh Beaumont was speaking to TRU's Chris Heal.
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