The last time Corey Oates suffered a cut on his leg, he spent nine days in hospital with a staph infection.
So imagine the Brisbane winger’s panic when he slashed the old wound with a whipper snipper during the NRL coronavirus shutdown.
While Oates has bounced back to full fitness before the May 28 NRL re-start, the lanky flyer admitted he had some serious concerns after some recent yard work went pear shaped.
Oates had battled through the first two rounds before the shutdown after losing 6kg while hospitalised in January when what seemed to be an innocuous leg cut became a recurrence of a staph infection suffered two years earlier.
But just when Oates had regained his strength after hammering himself in his makeshift home gym during lockdown, he feared it was all for nothing when he came off second best with the whipper snipper.
“I used the whipper snipper in the break and it cut my leg open right where I had the infection,” Oates said.
“I honestly panicked for two weeks.
“I covered it with Dettol. Every day I thought it was swelling up and I was getting the infection again.
“I would look at it two, three times a day just to make sure it is not swelling up again.”
The incumbent Queensland winger admits the threat of another staph infection with his troublesome leg will always be a concern.
“It worries me a lot but it is something I have to get used to because I don’t think it (infection threat) is going to go away,” he said.
However, Oates reckons nothing will stop him from hitting the ground running when the NRL re-starts after finally recovering from his hospital visit.
“I really struggled after that (staph infection) incident (in January), I really did,” he said.
“It was the worst I have ever felt coming into a season, physically and even mentally.
“I tried to tell myself I was ready but in the back of my mind I knew I wasn’t.
“Those six weeks (during shutdown) we had I just didn’t stop. I tried to do as much gym as I could, constantly kept running.
“I feel like I have come back a lot fitter and stronger than those first two rounds.”