Macfadyen Fighting Fit after His Years of Misery; BACK IN ACTION: Donnie Macfayden Has Much to Prove for Club and Country

The Mail on Sunday (London, England), March 30, 2008 | Go to article overview

Macfadyen Fighting Fit after His Years of Misery; BACK IN ACTION: Donnie Macfayden Has Much to Prove for Club and Country


Byline: David Barnes

IF A WEEK is a long time in sport, then the three-and-a-bit years whichDonnie Macfadyen spent battling injury must feel like an eternity. He hasexperienced such a wretched run of luck that you can't help but be impressed byhis dedication and persistence. Considering the catalogue of misfortune he hashad to endure, it is a wonder he did not just throw in the towel.

Back in the autumn of 2004, the Glasgow flanker was established as Scotland'sfirstchoice open-side, and his name was even being linked with Sir CliveWoodward's Lions squad which was to tour New Zealand the following summer.

But then a cartilage injury in his left knee sidelined him for 15 months andthe frustration can only have been increased by the fact it took eight of thosemonths before the root cause of his problem was properly identified.

However, his potential value to the Scotland team (which has never been hardupwhen it comes to back-row options) was demonstrated when he was parachuted intothe national set-up for the 2006 summer tour of South Africa.

He played both Test matches over there, scoring a try in the second of thosegames, and for a fortnight all the pain and misery disappeared.

However, he had barely returned from that trip before he was facing anotherlengthy lay-offthis time with a torn groin. That severely curtailed the amount of game-time hewas able to get last season and, although he was fit again in time to make alate push for inclusion in Scotland's World Cup training squad, he could notconvince national coach Frank Hadden he was ready for such a challenge.

Ever the optimist, Macfadyen viewed this disappointment as an opportunity tofocus on getting fit again but, alas, the hand of fate was to deliver yetanother cruel blow.

A knee injury picked up during Glasgow's pre-season friendly against LondonWasps required another operation, sidelining him until the end of February,when he made his most recent comeback in a gritty 9-6 victory over the Ospreyson a wet and windy evening at Firhill.

Macfadyen earned widespread praise in that match after a performance whichwould have been impressive enough if he had been fit all season, but was quiteremarkable given he has managed only a handful of games in the last threeyears. …

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