West Coast great Peter Matera needs one more stent inserted and is lucky to be alive after suffering a heart attack on Sunday.
The AFL world was in shock after news filtered through that Matera had suffered a serious heart attack while chopping wood on his family farm in Echuca.
The 53-year-old was rushed to Bendigo hospital by his wife and had two stents inserted into his heart.
His younger brother, former Eagle Phil Matera, said Peter was recovering well and was due to leave the intensive care unit soon.
“He’s a lot better today,” Phil said on Tuesday
“He’s up and about. He’s still in ICU, but he’s looking better, and he wants to have a shower and get out of the ICU.
“He’s still got a little operation to go. He needs another stent put in to another section of his heart.
“That’s a minor operation, and hopefully after that he’s able to start getting back to his bouncy self.”
Phil said his brother was only alive because he suffered the heart attack close to the house rather than kilometres away on the 120,000-acre farm.
“It (the farm) is a massive operation,” Phil told 6PR.
“He could be on the tractor 100km away from home. If he was out in that paddock by himself miles away, he definitely wouldn’t have made it.
“Luckily he was just down from the house chopping some wood, with (his wife) Suzy.
“She was able to get him to the car and race him to hospital. It’s been very lucky for him.”
Phil urged people to get a check-up with their doctor to avoid a similar fate.
Matera is one of West Coast’s all-time greatest players, having won two premierships and five All-Australian jumpers during his glittering 253-game AFL career.
He also won the 1992 Norm Smith medal for his breathtaking five-goal display in the club’s 28-point grand final win over Geelong.
West Coast coach Adam Simpson, who played 306 games for North Melbourne, said Matera “burnt me off every time I got near him” on the playing field.
“He’s a legend of the club so our heart goes out to him and hopefully he has a speedy recovery,” Simpson said.
“Those things are always a shock and it puts things in a bit of perspective too, doesn’t it?”