‘Better than before’: Rose set for comeback

Lachie Rose doesn’t want to just pick-up from where he left. After a three-month lay-off due to a broken foot, the Bulls forward is aiming to go a step further upon his comeback.  

The last summer was one to forget for the 23-year-old. Instead of being part of the Bulls’ hunt for a top six finish, Rose has been undergoing intensive rehabilitation to overcome a freak training ground injury that saw him sidelined since mid-December. It was followed by surgery. Then a moonboot and crutches for a month. Training started in a pool before he could even start to jog again.

A return to form is the target for most players on the long trail back from injury. But the Macarthur FC fan favourite isn’t content with simply regaining his previous standard when he makes his comeback on Sunday night against Melbourne City at Campbelltown Sports Stadium, instead, he’s eager to surpass it, and make-up for lost time having sharpened his iron-will during the difficult lay-off this summer.

“I want to be better than where I was, that’s the biggest thing. Pick-up where I left off? Yes, but also performing better and helping the boys out obviously with a big game this weekend,” Rose said. “Watching is very tough, you obviously want to be out there but you have to bite your tongue and wait your time and obviously now is my time to be back so I am obviously very keen to get out there.”

The timing of Rose’s return could hardly be better for Bulls coach Mile Sterjovski. Already, he’s without three key attacking players with Moudi Najjar, Bachana Arabuli out for two more weeks while captain Ulises Davila won’t return this season after suffering a knee injury. A suspension for Daniel Arzani this weekend threatened the already thinning stocks up front before Rose was given the green light to take to the field, the same week winger Jed Drew returned from international duty.

“It’s a massive boost having Lachie back and also Jed Drew, they bring a lot of energy,” Sterjovski said. “They are hungry to win and hungry to play and that’s the kind of attribute I love – players that are willing to do anything for the team. I am looking forward to having them back on the weekend.”

While that famed grit of Rose wasn’t on display in front of fans the past three months, his determination never wavered throughout his injury recovery. The forward returned a few weeks earlier than predicted having worked tirelessly during his rehabilitation to be part of the Bulls’ hunt for a top six finish.

“I stayed mentally strong throughout my whole rehab. I was making sure I did everything and that’s why I have gotten back the way I have and how fast I got back as well,” he said.

Rose’s return coincides with a cause close to his heart. The forward took part in the Bulls’ partnership with Sony Foundation Australia’s holiday camps for young Australians with disabilities and has been active with the cause since. On Sunday night , Rose will make his return to the field in the Bulls’ Sony Foundation round which raises support and funds for young Australians in need.

“I think this cause is very good to honour,” Rose said. “Obviously Sony Foundation do a lot for younger kids and also cancer patients so for us it’s good to support and obviously to try and raise awareness for it.”