K rock Football

Surgery holds back Sam

Geelong midfielder Sam Menegola underwent off-season knee surgery. (AAP Image/David Moir)

GEELONG midfielder Sam Menegola is expected to be back in full training post-Christmas as he continues his recovery from off-season knee surgery.

Menegola, who is entering his fourth season at GMHBA Stadium, went under the knife following some issues with his right knee late in the season.

“He’s on a different program at the moment, but he’s done a huge volume of running through pre-season to date,” Cats football boss Simon Lloyd said.

“He’s tracking to be in full training come January. It (the surgery) was very straightforward.

“He’s now doing off-the-line running and has a very strong fitness base.

“Our expectations are that he will be in full training come January.”

Youngsters Jordan Cunico and Nakia Cockatoo have started to increase their workloads after both had their tonsils removed earlier this month.

“Jordan was running today, and Nakia did a power or running through today’s (Monday’s) session,” Lloyd said.

“They’re now starting to get a bit of work into them, which is great.

“They won’t have much time off, particularly Nakia, over Christmas … he’ll keep training and training hard.

“We will try and get as much work into him, so he ramps up as we get closer to the season.”

Geelong is being conservative with the return of defender Jed Bews (shoulder) and Lachie Fogarty (adductor tightness).

“We all know that Jed Bews plays a really physical brand of game, so there’s no reason for us at this early stage to put him in contact (work),” Lloyd said.

“Like the others, he’s doing a large volume of running work at the moment.

“Lachie Fogarty, we’re just going slow with. He’s doing a lot of one-on-one work around his core stability.

“We’re not thinking short-term with Lachie. It’s about the overall long-term plan.

“He’s going to be here for a long period of time, so we need to get the foundations right.”

Esava Ratugolea is continuing to build his involvement in training

“Throughout today’s session, Esava was involved in some heavy aerial contests, and he’s landing well and he’s presenting hard on the lead,” Lloyd said.

“He’s now in his third pre-season and he’s continuing to build his base, but he’s moving unimpeded.”

Defender Zach Tuohy is continuing to work away from the main group after he also underwent off-season knee surgery, while a back issue is hampering big man Zac Smith.

“Backs are difficult ones at times because you could have a couple of good weeks then it slows down a little,” Lloyd said.

“But we’re relatively positive at the moment in regards to Zac’s back.

“Hopefully, it keeps charting positively.”

Geelong will have its final session on Wednesday and will return to training on January 10.

Twitter: @tom_king79