Mark Dry is ready to go through one more excruciating surgery to keep his hopes alive of upgrading his Commonwealth Games bronze in Gold Coast to an Olympic medal at Tokyo 2020.
The 30-year-old hammer thrower is facing a fourth complex operation in less than four years after tearing the labrum in his hip apart during his miraculous performance against the odds in Australia last month. Inserting yet another metal replacement would leave him on the sidelines for the rest of the season.
“Replacing the head of the hip – it’s just short of a hip replacement,” Dry said. “The femoral head might come off. Straight after the competition at the Commonwealths was outrageously bad. I was in unbelievable pain. Luckily I wasn’t training for a few weeks and with the alcohol it didn’t hurt that much.”
The ends retrospectively justified the means. The success, matching his returns at Glasgow 2014, has rekindled the competitive fire. However, there are no guarantees going under the knife will allow him to make another doctor-defying comeback, the Highlander acknowledges, with fears he could end up hobbled in old age set to be part of the discussion when he sits down with medics later this month.
The cost too, with discussions pending between Dry, Scottish Athletics and Commonwealth Games Scotland over who will foot the bill. “I have not had a quote, but obviously it is not cheap,” he admitted. “It is more the room, because at private hospitals it can be about two grand a day and I am going to have to be there for five or six days.
“The surgeons have told me how hard the surgery is going to be, the guy is going to have to do a lot of pulling in there. It is going to feel like I am being kicked by a horse for a month. I am going to be on crutches, he wants to get me off in eight weeks. Back training in four months, back ready for training at the start of the winter and half the season. All the reports say that the hip should be brand new afterwards, I should be able to run, jump, squat, do anything.” The Rio Olympian – who was helping launch Scottish Athletics’ new Joma kit in Glasgow yesterday – finally returned home to Moray last weekend to receive overdue congratulations from family and friends.
“Saw the sights, went fishing for a bit, had another barbecue and a bottle of wine,” he confirmed.
The self-styled Captain Dry now has a flotilla of admirers all over the world for his unexpected heroics and his kilt-wearing lap of honour in Australia, and for the hugely comedic clips he’s been posting on Instagram which have documented every last drop of his month-long celebratory tour.
“That was funny,” he grinned. “I think I was more famous for that than throwing. The team got right into it. It was a really good trip. It couldn’t have gone much better. I thought 74-75 metres would medal but I knew I was capable of fighting hard and if it went my way, it could work out.”