(Originally appeared on foxsports.com.au on 11/12/18, From the Staff Writers)
The Crows had a shocking run with injury in 2018, but things are already looking up for Don Pyke’s side, starting at the top. Skipper Taylor Walker has returned in good shape, after undergoing surgery on his left foot in August. Meanwhile, Brodie Smith — who ruptured his ACL in the 2017 finals — is also in good nick. And the perennially injured B rad Crouch, who failed to register a match this season, is finally on track for a Round 1 berth. Jordan Gallucci (toe), Kyle Hartigan (knee) and David Mackay (Achilles) will return to full training in the new year.
Charlie Cameron’s promising 2017 campaign was cut short by a nasty Lisfranc injury, sustained in Round 11 against the Kangaroos. But in positive news, the former Crow is progressing well and is on track to resume full training after Christmas. Draftees Tom Berry (knee), Connor McFadyen (foot) and Tom Joyce (hip) are all on modified programs. Meanwhile, Connor Ballenden (broken arm) and defender Darcy Gardiner (shoulder) are on track for a full training load in 2019.
It’s predominantly the new kids on the block who have injury concerns. Alex Fasolo (formerly Collingwood) is back training with the main group, after ankle issues. And Will Setterfield (formerly GWS) is still recovering from his ACL injury, with an eye to get him back with the main group in the new year. Draftee Finbar O’Dwyer is also being managed until Christmas.
The Magpies have a number of stars returning from a raft of injuries. Jeremy Howe (shoulder) is being eased back into training, while Matt Scharenberg (ACL) is five months post-surgery. Lynden Dunn, also recovering from a ruptured ACL, is eyeing a return as early as March. Tim Broomhead (broken leg) is back running, while Jamie Elliott (hamstring) has been training strongly.
In less than ideal news, Joe Daniher (osteitis pubis) is still struggling for full fitness. The big forward copped ample criticism for his sub par performances in the first seven rounds of the season before player and club pulled the pin on his year. Meanwhile, Orazio Fantasia (finger) won’t take any part in training drills until the new year, as is the case with Tom Bellchambers, who underwent shoulder surgery. Josh Begley (ACL) is seven months post-surgery, while Martin Gleeson (ankle) won’t be back with the main group until 2019.
Stephen Hill headlines the injury woes at the Dockers, with the midfielder undergoing more surgery on his quad earlier this month. Recruit Jesse Hogan — whose season at Melbourne ended prematurely because of a navicular issue — has started running. And Griffin Logue (foot), Harley Bennell (calf) and Connor Blakely (knee) are all progressing well from their respective injuries.
The Cats have a few injury concerns as the Christmas break approaches. Esava Ratugolea (broken ankle) has had a delayed start to his pre-season, while Zach Tuohy is yet to hit the track after a post-season knee clean up. Nakia Cockatoo has complained of knee soreness and had his tonsils removed, while Jordan Clark and Jordan Cunico have also suffered from tonsilities. Wylie Buzza’s 2018 was cut short by the dreaded Lisfranc injury, but is beginning to build up his running capacity.
GOLD COAST SUNS
Well, finally some good news for the struggling Suns. On the injury front, the club is doing rather well. Sam Day (shoulder) will be back with the main group post-Christmas, as will Nic Holman (back) and George Horlin-Smith (shoulder). Jack Leslie, however, is still a way off from contact drills, after a knee operation.
It’s a star studded line up when it comes to injuries at the Giants. Josh Kelly (hip surgery) has been undergoing rehab at the club, while Toby Greene (foot surgery) remains in a moon boot. Jon Patton (ACL) went for his first run earlier this week, after the 25-year-old underwent his third knee reconstruction in July. Heath Shaw and Lachie Whitfield are both on their own individual programs, after respective knee surgeries, but should be back to full training in the new year. The same can be said for Aiden Corr (groin).
Four-time premiership Hawk Grant Birchall hasn’t been able to take a trick over the past two seasons. But the 30-year-old is on track for a Round 1 berth, after undergoing a modified program to right his troublesome right knee. Recruit Tom Scully, who failed to play another match in 2018 after he fractured his right ankle in Round 2, has started a light training load, while former skipper Jarryd Roughead (ankle) is expected to ramp things up soon. James Frawley continues to suffer general soreness.
A plethora of Demons are returning from post-season surgery. Clayton Oliver (both shoulders), James Harmes (shoulder), Neville Jetta (shoulder) and Christian Petracca (knee) won’t resume contact drills until after Christmas. Meanwhile, co-captain Jack Viney had more surgery on his foot post-season. Jake Melsksham (ankle), Billy Stretch (toe), Oskar Baker (hamstring) and Tim Smith (foot) are all taking a conservative approach to pre-season at this stage. And Jake Lever (ACL) is still optimistic he will return mid-season, despite a setback last week when the defender had more surgery.
Ben Jacobs endured another frustrating season in 2018. Although this time, it was after he had his long-awaited return from a foot injury. He missed most of the second half of the year with concussion, but is back on track. Full forward Ben Brown (hip) and Majak Daw (foot) underwent surgery at the end of the season and are both expected to transition back into the main group in January. Skipper Jack Ziebell had a minor operation on his knee but has already returned to running. Young key defender Sam Durdin is slowly recovering from the leg he broke in July and is set to return to full fitness in February.
Experienced stars Charlie Dixon, Hamish Hartlett and Tom Rockliff are all on track to play in the JLT Community Series after undergoing major surgery this year. Hartlett did his knee in April, Dixon had surgery on his fractured leg in August and Rockliff underwent a second shoulder reconstruction at the end of the season. Robbie Gray had a clean out on his right knee at the end of the year, while Tom Jonas also had minor knee surgery.
Gun recruit Tom Lynch had his posterior cruciate ligament repaired in July and is on track to run before Christmas. Three-time Coleman medallist Jack Riewoldt had a minor shoulder operation after Richmond’s season ended in September, while young gun Jack Graham had his shoulder reconstructed in October after it dislocated in the second half of the season. Josh Caddy (ankle) and Dylan Grimes (finger) had minor surgery at the end of the year, but reported for full training on day one of the pre-season.
Dylan Roberton is back training on a modified program, but the club will take a very safe approach with the defender after he collapsed during a game early in the season. Key forward Paddy McCartin is recovering from a Lisfranc injury and is expected to return to full training in January. New recruit Max King is still on the comeback trail from the ACL he tore in April, but the No. 4 pick is on track to be ready to play early in the season. Former Demon Dean Kent underwent surgery after injuring his shoulder in Round 23, but is set to be back with the main group after Christmas. While the clubs big acquisition, Dan Hannebery, hasn’t missed a beat on the track this pre-season after enduring an injury plagued season at the Swans.
Superstar forward Lance Franklin won’t get on the track until next year after undergoing post-season surgery on his troublesome hip, while young gun Callum Mills has returned after breaking his foot in a freak accident during the year. Kieren Jack and Zac Jones both had knee surgery at the end of the season and are expected to return in January. Sam Naismith is still training away from the main group after rupturing his ACL at the start of the year.
Star forward Josh Kennedy won’t return to full training until the new year after having shoulder surgery after the Eagles’ premiership win. Nic Naitanui is on track to return midway through next year after his season was brought to a devastating end due to a second knee reconstruction in less than three years. Elliot Yeo had his toe operated on after the grand final and won’t return to full training until after the break.
Liam Picken continues to work his way back from the concussion issues that ruined his 2018, although there is still no return date yet for the veteran. Billy Gowers is training away from the main group after he broke his wrist in a car accident. Jason Johannisen underwent minor hip surgery at the end of the season and is expected to return to full training after Christmas. While Caleb Daniel had a clean out on his knee in September and has recently resumed running.
Leave a comment / Scroll to bottom