Crameri in line for March return

21 December 2017 19:25:48 GMTPlus11

He's had an interrupted pre-season so far, but Geelong believe Stewart Crameri will be available for their first hit-out.

The Cats anticipate Crameri, who was their first pick at this year's AFL Rookie Draft (No.16 overall) will be in the frame to start the JLT Community Series.

Coach Chris Scott has always been aware the mature-age rookie would need to build up slowly during pre-season following a hip injury that affected him in his final season with Western Bulldogs.

The 29-year-old has played just two senior games in the past two seasons and Scott said the Cats were being careful with him.

Besides long kicking he's pretty much unencumbered, not that we're pushing him in to anything.

Chris Scott

"He had both hips done during the year and it got to the point where it looked like he wasn't going to play so that (the surgeries) delayed him a bit further," he said.

"Besides long kicking he's pretty much unencumbered, not that we're pushing him in to anything."

Geelong expect Crameri will be back in full training by the end of next month.

That would make him unlikely to feature in the club's AFLX campaign in February, but the aim is to have him available for the opening JLT Community series against Gold Coast on 4th March.

If he comes through pre-season Crameri will be pushing for a spot when Geelong open their home and away season against Melbourne at the MCG on 25th March.

Crameri booted 96 goals in 57 games for Essendon between 2010 and 2013 and 70 goals in 42 appearances for the Bulldogs after joining the club for the 2014 season.

Meanwhile, defender Lachie Henderson is due to return to the training track next month following after a second bout of knee surgery.

The 27-year-old had an arthroscope on his right knee last Tuesday after being plagued by soreness since his original October operation. 

Geelong are 12/1 to win the 2018 Grand Final. The Cats are 5000/1 to finish in the top four.

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