STAR Collingwood midfielder Dayne Beams has revealed that he could not bring himself to watch the Magpies through the first three months of the season as he nursed a quadriceps injury.
In an interview with the AFL Record, Beams said he tore the tendon in his quadricep with his last kick at training at Collingwood's final training session before the season opener against North Melbourne the following day.
The 2012 Copeland Trophy winner said one way to cope with the disappointment of not playing was to watch the matches in the solitude of his lounge room.
On gameday, he would arrive at the ground to fulfill various pre-match duties for the media and sponsors and was there to provide support for his teammates in the rooms before the match. But once they ran on to the ground, he would zip home to watch the matches on TV.
"I can't watch footy at the ground. I just can't be there with lots of people around. I don't like the abuse – depending on the score – so I would rather sit and watch it by myself from my lounge room. That’s just where I like to watch the boys play."
In the interview, Beams and coach Nathan Buckley speak of their frustration at how Beams twice completed the first part of his rehabilitation, only for there to then be a setback as he stepped up his training.
Adding to the difficulty was the fact that tendon injuries are harder to treat than simple muscle tears.
"It was probably the most frustrating time I've had. Rehab is just a crap place where no player wants to be," Beams said.
"I didn’t know when I'd be back playing footy. I guess when you do an ACL you know you're going to be out for the season and you know what your rehab will look like for the rest of the season, but for me there would be some intense running, then more intense running and only then, if I got through that, then I could train."
Beams has been back in the senior side for the last three weeks and has set himself to make as big an impact as possible, for however long the Magpies are still in action.
"Really, the challenge for me going forward is to be more consistent," he said. "This year hasn’t gone my way but I hopefully have eight to 10 weeks to go and I can still help the side."
Ashley Browne is an AFL Media senior writer. You can follow him on Twitter @afl_hashbrowne