Thumbs up for Worthington

Lions utility Scott Worthington has made a name for himself as an aerial specialist during his 64 game WAFL career, but the 23-year-old highflyer admits he’s had some low points as well.

At age 12, the Boulder product complained to his parents that his hands, specifically his thumbs, were constantly aching following football games.

“I remember mum just saying ‘no, something isn’t right here’. So she took me to the Lamington Medical Centre and the doc pretty much filled us in straight away.”  Worthington said.

Worthington was diagnosed with Myothumbnal Hypertrophy, a genetic disorder found in around 1 in 10,000 people.

The condition causes accelerated growth of the muscle surrounding one or both thumbs.

“We didn’t have any family history of it so we were all pretty stunned.”

“I was pretty flat because initially we got told by a specialist that it wasn’t a good idea for me to keep playing sports.” Worthington said.

Worthington describes growing up with abnormally sized thumbs was challenging at times.

“I got teased a bit but it didn’t really bother me, the hardest part was watching my friends play footy while I was carrying the water bottles four at a time because I had such big thumbs.” He said.

At the age of 16, after four years on the sidelines, the Worthingtons sought further medical advice and were told Scott could return to the field on the condition he received weekly treatment from physiotherapists on his thumbs.

“I was that happy, everything turned around for me after that and to be honest now I think they come in handy to grip the ball, in marking contests and tackling.”

“I still cop a bit of flack from the boys around the change rooms and stuff but it’s all in good spirit.”

 “They also come in handy when I’m texting on my phone because it means I can text more people and for longer.” He said.

Worthington was a member of Subiaco’s 2011 grand final side and this season was elected by teammates as part of a 6 man leadership group.

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