#6 Joe Daniher - drinkin’ coffee, brewin’ beer, gettin’ injured

They’re the two letters no athlete anywhere in the world wants to hear.

To receive a diagnosis of osteitis pubis, more commonly referred to as “OP”, generally translates as a long period of time out of the game, off the field and into the rehab room.

In medical terms, osteitis pubis is the inflammation of the pubic symphysis, the joint that houses the connection between the left and right side of your pelvis. Put simply, your groin muscles will not support any physical activity.

AFL players are particularly at risk of the disease. Seasons have been shortened, and in extreme cases, careers have been ended because of OP. Nor does the disease discriminate based on talent. Champions like Chris Judd and Luke Ball and young stars of the game like Aaron Black have all suffered from OP at some stage in their careers. Darcy Daniher’s career at Essendon was over before it even began due to a diagnosis of severe OP, which forced his retirement.

AFL players are placed at higher risk for OP due to the sport’s high physical demand. Kicking, running at top speed and suddenly changing directions are all integral parts of being successful at the sport. Unfortunately, they are also the actions most likely to exacerbate the symptoms of OP.

Even training errors, such as exercising on uneven or hard ground, or in incorrect or unsuitable footwear can also lead to gradual build up of inflammation in the pelvic joints.

As OP is resistant to treatment, a careful and prolonged rehabilitation period is often necessary. Often the only way to combat the disease is gradual strengthening of the surrounding muscles and joints, aided by the use of podiatric footwear & physiotherapy. Unfortunately the average period out of the game is generally counted in months, not weeks.

Recent speculation has surrounded West Coast Eagles ruckman Nic Naitanui’s future, as he battles groin issues. Not yet to be confirmed as OP, Naitanui’s high-leaping style places him at risk due to repeated minor trauma, as he lands after each ruck contest onto hard ground.

Local footballers are not immune. Spotswood Football Club captain Tom Langlands has played only two games in the 2013 WRFL season due to OP. He describes the symptoms of OP as “like someone is slowly pushing a knife up into your groin, basically every time you break into a run.”

Langlands voices the frustrations that sufferers of OP feel. “It’s not being able to walk at some stages, it’s not being able to stretch out at all. You can’t kick a footy, you can’t jog laps, you can pretty much only stand there. It’s a very lonely injury.”

Generally, the disease is diagnosed via medical imaging. An x-ray can reveal widening of the pubic symphysis, which is a telltale symptom. More commonly, computerized tomography (CT) is used to acquire a more detailed image of the bone structure of the pelvis. CT radiographer Kait O’Callahan has performed scans on several suspected cases of OP. “To perform the scan, the patient has to step up onto a table, and even that is a struggle for sufferers of OP,” O’Callahan said. “It’s a bit of a giveaway when such a simple movement is causing them such discomfort.”

As a keen tennis fan, O’Callahan is aware that the constant change of direction by tennis players, along with the explosive power generated by the service action, place them at risk. “Like any sport that requires such quick, sharp movements and the use of force through the legs, you are at risk if you have a long career in the sport.”

It appears that in recent years, the AFL is winning the battle against OP. Statistics released by the league in March of this year indicate that clubs reported 2.6 incidences of OP or groin injuries, compared to 4.1 in 2010. The number of games missed by players suffering from OP also declined to an average of 6.9 games a season, compared to a staggering 17.5 games in 2007.

The drop in OP-related cases can be attributed to a smarter approach to training. Clubs are placing more emphasis on careful building of the muscles around the groin area and developing core strength, which is leading to an improvement in stability and placing less strain on the muscles and joints affected by OP.

This is due to the AFL placing more importance on sports science-savvy medical and conditioning personnel monitoring the training loads of young players, as the league attempts to develop a higher sense of professionalism.

Unfortunately for arguably the AFL’s most exciting player in Naitanui, and other players around the league struggling with groin issues, it is cold comfort to learn that the incidences of OP diagnoses are on a steadily downward curve.



That’s a good example. Did Crouch have two full years off?

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Also, the year that Lucas kicked his 67 was the year Lloyd only played a few games. Anyway, i didn’t say Daniher was better. I said it’s a fair comparison to make, or fair to think maybe Joey could get there.

Spongey floors.
Mmmmmm spongey.

Crouch had surgery for it in June last year and is already back to his best and hasn’t missed a game this year. I’m not sure if it’s the same thing that he missed a season for a few years back also?

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tbh i can’t remember. I know he had all of last year out and maybe he still played but struggled the previous year, i can’t remember.

He played the year before. Very well too. From memory he missed 2016 or 2015.

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If you dig up interviews from the players themselves you’ll hear how impressed they were with their run of form last year. “We know we can beat anyone when we play the way we want to play” - except the good teams don’t let us do that.

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I thought he did a knee? But I might be wrong about that

So you’d understand that being in hospital and going through months of rehab isn’t exactly appealing to some right?

Mine were all before I turned 18 so it probably didn’t impact me as much as it might now.

Having said that I’m not an elite athlete and I would assume that if the club recommends a certain route then I highly doubt too many would say no.

I was surprised last year when people were suggesting it was Joes fault that he wasn’t informing the club of his injury and I’m even more surprised that you are suggesting Joe would abject to surgery.

Not sure why Joes professionalism continues to be questioned on here.

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Same goes for Crow and the coaches though right? We’re all just speculating. Probably best that people with zero insight don’t keep making things up.


I don’t think Mendoza is making things up.

He’s just hypothesising.

I actually ment to right was booming not is. Because his practice was having patients consistently come and his numbers picked up immensely for a while.

Has any of these “take time to recover” options ever actually worked?

Just seems to delay the surgery…


Maybe a Royal Commission is in order?

You know what i’m talking about. Go through the last 12-24 hours of bullshit on here and people are coming to all kinds of wild conclusions.

Blitz is gonna Blitz.


If only this was the issue with Joe’s groin


not a joke
Very sad news

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