K rock Football

Rib issue for Atkins

Geelong forward Tom Atkins. (Sports Media Image/Marcel Berens)

A RIB cartilage issue similar more commonly seen among rugby league and rugby union players has been revealed as the issue that has kept Tom Atkins sidelined for close to a month.

The Geelong small forward hasn’t played at AFL level since the Round 4 win over Melbourne on June 28, but the club hopes he is closing in on a return.

“There was a possibility that he might be able to play through it, to an extent,” coach Chris Scott said.

“So, I think you’d understand that we didn’t want to tell the whole world that he sore ribs if he wanted to keep playing.

“The specific issue – and there has been several – is more related to a rib cartilage.

“They can linger for quite a long time, which this one has, so it wasn’t completely unexpected.”

CATS: FOOT ISSUE SLOWS DAHLHAUS

Former Adelaide forward Josh Jenkins is also closing in on a return from a back injury.

However, Scott says he will just fall short of playing in Sunday’s scratch match against Fremantle.

 

Irishman Stefan Okunbor could take another step in his return from a ruptured Achilles suffered at training just over six months ago by lining up in that match.

“He’s certainly trained well enough to play,” Scott said. “We haven’t locked down exactly who’s available.

“But my observation of him at training over a long period of time is that he’s looked ready to me.

“He had a ruptured Achilles, so it was a serious injury.

“He’s healed like a terminator … it’s been a remarkable recovery, and the way he’s trained has been pretty impressive as well.”

Twitter: @tom_king79