Harry Sunderland Trophy winner Jonny Lomax has revealed just how close he came to walking away from the game almost a decade ago.
The 31-year-old produced a man of the match display to help St Helens beat Leeds 24-12 at Old Trafford on Saturday. Kristian Woolf’s side became the first team in history to win four successive Super League titles.
Lomax has played through the pain barrier this season after suffering a ruptured bicep in April.
His arm injury is just the latest setback of an injury-battled career which began with a serious concussion as a junior. He has required three ACL surgeries, the worst of which saw him close to quitting the game he loves.
“If I go back to 2014-15, I probably thought my career was done,” said Lomax.
“I told my dad I was quitting and I didn’t want to go through it again. It sounds a bit dramatic but that’s how it was.
“I got the surgery but I couldn’t see myself doing the rehab. But I ended up doing it and as I got closer to the time for returning I was feeling pretty good. I thought I’ll see how I go.”
Holding off surgery
Lomax’s decision to hold off surgery was made easier when Saints lost fellow half-back Lewis Dodd for the season with an Achilles injury on Good Friday.
“We spoke about what we wanted to achieve in the pre-season,” Lomax explained. “I wasn’t going to let something that I might be able to manage throughout the rest of the season affect us achieving our goals.
“If Doddy was available it probably would have been an easier decision on how to go about the rest of the year. But with Doddy gone; and with us carrying another couple of bumps, it was about doing what’s best for the team.”
Jonny Lomax coy on whether he will play at World Cup
Lomax’s injury sees him doubtful England’s World Cup campaign later this autumn.
“I don’t know decision wise what’s going on or anything like that,” Lomax told Love Rugby League.
“I’ll speak to the medical team here (at St Helens). Everyone will have a review that might be involved in it in the next few days. We’ll go from there.
“For the meantime, that won’t be in my mind. It will be celebrating an incredible achievement that we’ve just had.”