K rock Football

Cats hope for 2019 return for Cunico

Jordan Cunico in action during Geelong’s VFL practice match against Essendon on March 7. (krockfootball.com.au Image/Marcel Berens)

GEELONG hasn’t ruled out Jordan Cunico playing again in 2019 despite undergoing an ankle reconstruction on the weekend.

The fifth-year midfielder, who had travelled to Adelaide with the Cats as an emergency before returning to Geelong o Thursday night, suffered what was labelled a “severe fracture” by the club during Friday night’s VFL loss to Richmond at GMHBA Stadium.

Football boss Simon Lloyd says the 22-year-old, who has played 15 AFL games, is “in good spirits”.

“It will be a long-term recovery, but we still see Jordan playing a large chunk of football come the latter part of the season,” Lloyd said.

“He knows there will be a lot of football for him to play come later in the season and, according to the surgeon, the surgery went well. It needed a plate and screws.”

Irishman Mark O’Connor (hip flexor) and Tim Kelly (ankle), who both failed to finish the win over the Crows, are both strong chances to take on the GWS Giants on Saturday afternoon.

“Mark’s moving freely today (Monday),” Lloyd said. “We’ll assess that during the week, as we will a number of other players.

“We’re expecting him to be available for this week.

“Tim had a scan and has got a low-grade sprain. He’s walking pain-free, and we’ll test him later in the week.”

Young defender Jack Henry is also a chance to take on the Giants after missing the Adelaide clash with a minor hamstring issue.

“He’s running well, and we’ll assess Jack during the week – he’s up for (selection) discussion,” Lloyd said.

Lloyd says Cam Guthrie, who has missed the opening three rounds with a calf issue, has put together a solid block of training.

“He’s had several strong training sessions without any awareness (in the calf),” Lloyd said.

“He did a large volume of work late last week – of football and speed – and we’re hoping he’ll be available this week.”

Zach Tuohy is also pulling up well from training as he recovers from two off-season knee surgeries, but a decision on his return to playing is yet to be made.

It’s a similar scenario for Scott Selwood, who injured his hamstring in a VFL practice match on March 15.

“We’re going to make sure we’re conservative in our approach with Scott,” Lloyd said.

“We’re trying to minimise the risk of having a recurrence, but he’s progressing really well.”

Twitter: @tom_king79