Patrick Dangerfield will return from a syndesmosis injury against Port Adelaide on Thursday night, but says he’s still a month away from full fitness.
The Cats star hasn’t played since Round 2 as a result of the injury, having spent the best part of three months on the sidelines.
The 31-year-old said he was still several weeks away from regaining “extra range” in the injured ankle, saying that playing matches would allow him to regain full fitness.
“I have to prove myself to the external medicos looking in and making sure all those movements are fluid enough and there’s no hiccups or weak spots,” he said on SEN’s Whateley.
“It would probably take another month I reckon before I feel 100 per cent and a lot of that is just getting that extra range in the ankle (back).
“Just getting back to the running and aerobic element that is AFL football, the only thing you can’t do for a while is weight bare and run, it’s one thing to get on the exercise bike and it’s another thing to burn your lungs out on the track and the repeat efforts.”
Dangerfield said he was “really positive” about his recovery in the last week, revealing that he was now focused on building up his acceleration in his ankle.
“The (aerobic element) feels pretty good and that’s the challenge with the syndesmosis injury,” he said.
“It’s the twisting and then the acceleration from one to 100 as quickly as you possibly can and the challenge is when you return early from a syndesmosis, you don’t have that push off and acceleration that you normally would so that may take a few weeks to nail down and get totally right.
“The improvement I’ve had in my personal experience in the last 10 days has been really positive which is good.”
Geelong takes on Port Adelaide at the Adelaide Oval to kick off Round 13, in what’s set to be one of the highlights of the round.