Mummified Mark Reddish puts mishap to back

TOBY ROBSON
Last updated 05:00 28/08/2014
REDDISH KNEES: Wellington lock Mark Reddish will play against Manawatu on Friday after missing the first two matches of the season with burns to both legs.
FAIRFAX NZ/CAMERON BURNELL
REDDISH KNEES: Wellington lock Mark Reddish will play against Manawatu on Friday after missing the first two matches of the season with burns to both legs.

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Wellington lock Mark Reddish can laugh at his mummified legs now, but there was nothing funny about his situation when an off-season DIY concreting job went awry last month.

Reddish will make a welcome return to rugby when he starts at blindside flanker in a revamped Lions side named to play the Manawatu Turbos at Westpac Stadium on Friday night.

And the 29-year-old won't be hard to spot with both legs swathed in bandages to protect the serious burns he suffered

''I am a bit [of a mummy],'' Reddish said after Lions training yesterday before explaining his mishap.

''I was doing a bit of concreting at home and got a bit of a sore back bending over, so I decided I'd do a bit of kneeling in it. Obviously I spent a bit longer than I should of and didn't clean it off quickly enough.''

Reddish said he was aware freshly mixed, wet concrete was alkaline, and could cause chemical burns if exposed to skin, but didn't realise it could happen so quickly.

''Yeah, I knew it could burn you, but I just didn't think I was in it long enough. It was pretty harsh. You aren't meant to kneel in it at all I guess.''

Reddish isn't the first person to suffer the injury, with celebrity chef Richard Til in the news and in hospital earlier this month for a similar incident after laying a slab of concrete in his shed.

Accident Compensation Cooperation dealt with almost 100 concrete-burn-related claims last year.

Reddish won't have any long lasting damage, but is already growing tired of the rigmarole of wrapping and unwrapping his wounds for every rugby training to guard against infection.

On the bright side, he said the two paths he was laying at his house looked great.

''They look alright and they've got a fair bit of my skin in them I guess,'' he laughed.

In his 47th match for the Lions, Reddish is more serious about helping get his province back on track after watching the first-up losses to Waikato and Northland.

''It's been frustrating watching those games,'' he said.

''Maybe it is because we have a bit of a young side, but we didn't learn our lessons from the first game and played the same, if not worse, the following week.

''The boys have got the message and we've lifted it at training, so hopefully we can show that against the Manawatu boys.

''We can't use young as an excuse. Once you put that Wellington jersey on you are expected to lift to that level. In saying that, now we have a few more senior boys out there hopefully we can bring the young guys along with us.''

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- The Dominion Post

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