K rock Football

Sam won’t rush AFL return

SAM Menegola wouldn’t put a time frame on his AFL comeback after excelling in his return from a knee injury in Geelong’s gritty nine-point VFL win over Casey Demons on Saturday.

The star midfielder, who had been sidelined since early May, racked up 26 disposals and 11 tackles on a waterlogged playing surface at Casey Fields.

“I felt pretty good, but I feel like everyone says that about rehab,” Menegola said.

“You get to a point where the rehab goes from fixing injury to getting that match conditioning.

“I felt like I had a good block under my belt and I was just excited to get out and play footy.

“Naturally you sort of worry about your running when you’re coming back, but it was more just a bash-and-crash game.

“It was good to get that conditioning in as well. It’s different, but it’s really important.”

VFL: CATS COUNT COST OF WIN

Geelong has a VFL bye next week before a tough assignment against Port Melbourne at Adcon Stadium on August 4.

The Cats’ AFL side takes on Sydney at the SCG before a clash with Menegola’s former club Fremantle at Optus Stadium.

The 27-year-old was unsure whether he would need another VFL game before returning to senior ranks.

“That’s what match committees are for,” he said.

“I’ll just get the run in my legs, try and play good footy and see where that leads.”

Menegola relished playing alongside fellow AFL-listed midfielders Quinton Narkle, Charlie Constable and Scott Selwood against Casey.

All were busy in a tight, contested game at the feet of dominant ruckmen Ryan Abbott and Darcy Fort.

Lachie Fogarty, Jacob Kennerley and Oscar Brownless were also important contributors in an even team performance.

Geelong didn’t score into a strong breeze in the first quarter and trailed by 22 points at quarter-time, but gradually fought its way back into the contest.

The 5.18 (48) to 5.9 (39) win put the Cats within sight of the top four, with just two losses from their last nine VFL games.

“It was a real slog but I just love how our young guys fought it out. That was just so good to see,” Menegola said.

“It was a very, very tough game of footy and I just loved the attitude the whole day. I think you can read a bit into it.

“A lot of the guys there are young, but the stuff that you want to see like the attitude, the effort and the resilience was the highlight out of it for me playing alongside those guys.

“It was a really good win and I hope they enjoyed it.”

Twitter: @shayne_hope