Brydens Lawyers NSW Blues winger Brian To’o says his current knee injury is teaching him once again that patience is a virtue.
To’o is three weeks into his rehabilitation for a high-grade medial ligament tear in his left knee. He suffered the injury in Penrith’s 20-16 win over St George Illawarra in Round Two.
The 23-year-old is expected to spend at least another three weeks on the sidelines. He had a disrupted 2020 season with a serious ankle injury.
To’o is making use of his downtime and recently joined Brydens Lawyers NSW Blues coach Brad Fittler for a Blues Youth Leadership Program for 500 high school students at Parramatta’s Western Sydney University this month.
The discussion about resilience, when life throws a few curve balls, resonated with To’o who moved around the stage carefully with his leg still in a brace.
“I’m really a patient person, you have to be I suppose in Rugby League,” To’o told nswrl.com.au.
“But it was something I was born with – just being calm and patient. I’m just gathering all the tools and techniques that I learned about today (at the seminar) so I can continue to remain positive.”
The knee has been responding well to treatment as To’o puts in long hours with Panthers physios.
“Everything is going according to schedule,” he said.
“I’ll be out of the brace soon and fingers crossed I come back like I was before (injury).”
When asked what’s the hardest part of a long-term injury, To’o didn’t take long to answer.
“Not being able to play alongside the boys mainly,” he said.
“But I know my family and my fans also want to see me out there.
“You want to get back out there for them too.”
The big question is whether To’o will be fit enough in time when Fittler names his team for Game One of the Ampol State of Origin series after the completion of Round 12. To’o made his State of Origin debut last year and scored two tries across three games.
“A couple of people have already asked me about Origin, but I just want to focus on getting my leg right and getting back into the Panthers team,” he said.
“I know I’ve only missed a few rounds, but it feels like half-a-season already to me.
“I just want to be back playing and then Origin comes later after that.”