Railways star and dual-Kleemann medallist Matt Palfrey has suffered a season-ending knee injury after making the decision to challenge himself further and return to the WAFL. Palfrey enjoyed a brilliant 2022 season with the Tigers in the Great Southern Football League, winning his second Kleemann Medal and third premiership medallion. He made the move to Perth to reignite his WAFL career and joined East Perth but in a cruel twist of fate suffered an anterior cruciate ligament injury in a practice game for his new club earlier this month. The 26-year-old was a star in the Tigers’ back-to-back premiership glory last year and shared the GSFL’s top individual honour with Mt Barker player Zach Jackson, who has also transitioned back to the WAFL. Initially believing it to be innocuous, Palfrey said scans revealed the severity of the ACL injury that would sideline him for the remainder of 2023. “I didn’t get scans or anything until a couple of days after so the whole week I wasn’t sure if it was an ACL or just a knee niggle or something,” he said. “It felt like a hyper-extension because I was still walking around fine and moving around but I went to get scans and it was no good. “I’ll most likely look to not play this year, just to sort of focus on getting it better for next year. “I don’t want to be pushing for games at the end of this year and do the injury again.” Palfrey has already had the surgery and has his right leg in a brace. “I’m just trying to get better at the moment. I’m just in phase one the week after my surgery and I’m trying to get mobility in the knee,” he said. “I’m just taking it step by step really, making sure I do all the right things to get better. “It will be good to see everyone play in a grand final and hopefully win it this year. “It’s important to stay involved because sometimes you can get isolated with injury so sticking around the club is going to help me out mentally.” Palfrey said the decision to have a crack at earning a spot on East Perth’s list was spurred by his desire to compete against high-level opposition. “I wanted to challenge myself a bit more,” he said. “East Perth contacted me with a great opportunity last year and I knew later on in life I’d regret it if i didn’t give it a go.” Palfrey kicked 40 goals from 41 league games for WAFL club Claremont from 2015-2019 before returning home to play in successive premierships with his junior club.