West Coast’s Jack Darling hasn’t regained his sense of smell since being king-hit in 2010.West Coast forward Jack Darling has revealed he still hasn’t regained his sense of smell following a king-hit in 2010, but he isn’t suffering any other affects from the vicious attack.
Darling has been in career-best form this season, booting 18 goals across the first seven rounds to help West Coast to a 6-1 start.
The young father and husband credits his settled life off the field as being a significant factor in his hot form this season.
But his life could have taken a tragic turn in 2010 when he was struck from behind in an unprovoked attack during a night out in Subiaco.
Darling suffered bruising to his brain and a fractured skull from the hit, but was able to make a full recovery.
Well, almost full recovery.
“They said it (my sense of smell) is supposed to come back. But mine is not back yet,” Darling said.
“It can be a good thing (for when I change nappies), but it can also be a bad thing.
“One time I left the gas on for six or seven hours, almost died. The missus came home and smelt it. Luckily we turned it off pretty quick.”
Darling joked that his inability to smell meant he had to do most of the dirty work at home, like cleaning the kitty litter.
But he is thankful the attack didn’t cause more serious damage. And he can now handle eating chilly a lot better.
Darling’s on-field presence has grown significantly this season, with his powerful marking a highlight.
In last week’s 42-point win over Port Adelaide, Darling took six contested marks in one of his finest AFL performances.
The 158-game veteran has now set himself the goal of maintaining that consistency throughout the whole season, rather than just showing it in patches.
West Coast midfielder Luke Shuey could miss several weeks after tearing his right hamstring just two minutes into last week’s match.
The setback comes at a bad time for the Eagles, who face arguably the toughest part of their season over the next three weeks.
West Coast face GWS at Spotless Stadium on Saturday, before games against defending premiers Richmond (home) and a resurgent Hawthorn (away).