K rock Football

Stewart sets sights on Round 1

Geelong defender Tom Stewart (Sports Media Image/Marcel Berens)

ALL-Australian defender Tom Stewart is confident of being right for Geelong’s opening round clash with the GWS Giants after battling a groin issue through pre-season.

The 26-year-old is closing in on a return to full training having spent the last month building up his fitness through running.

Stewart says the focus is on a Round 1 return rather than the Cats’ Marsh Series matches against Gold Coast (February 22) and Essendon (March 9).

“I was just a little bit sore after the season,” he said.

“I wasn’t fully sure of the extent of it, and then I got married and went on our honeymoon, so I wasn’t quite getting the healthy physio treatment that I should have been.

“But, I’m all fixed on Round 1 and ready to go for there, so I should be right.”

Stewart, who joined several Cats AFL and AFLW player in accepting food donations for fire-ravaged communities at The Food Purveyor in South Geelong, is one of a number of senior Cats to have interrupted pre-season.

Captain Joel Selwood (hamstring), Mitch Duncan (hip) and Jake Kolodjashnij (hip) have also had their concerns.

Young forward Nathan Krueger has also been restricted after suffering a knee injury before Christmas during contest work with fellow tall Esava Ratugolea.

Scans revealed a later meniscus tear which resulted in minor surgery for Krueger.

“I was a bit shocked at first. I was a bit emotional when I was talking to (my) Dad about it,” the South Australian told the Cats’ website.

“But, I got over it pretty quickly and saw the bright side of it.”

That bright side for Krueger has been a chance to develop his body in the gym ahead of a return to running this week.

“Pilates to increase core and glute and hamstring strength,” he said.

“And even stability training with medicine balls and balancing on one leg.

“It’s all coming together now.”

Twitter: @tom_king79