Hendo horror story
Good news for Gregson, but backman under knife
GEELONG will be without star defender Lachie Henderson until “later this year” after he underwent an athroscope on his right knee yesterday.
Henderson, who had the first lot of surgery on his knee at the end of the 2017 season followed by more in December, won’t be rushed back, with the Cats focused on getting him fit for the pointy end of the season.
But the news was better for Cory Gregson, with scans revealing the small forward suffered a midfoot sprain in Sunday’s win over St Kilda.
There had been fears he had re-aggrevated a troublesome navicular bone injury, but he’s now in the clear.
“Cory is in good spirits with a positive mindset,” Geelong’s footy boss Simon Lloyd said.
“He will begin weight bearing on the foot over the coming days, which is a great outcome.”
Lloyd said Henderson’s latest operation “went as expected”.
“We believe this will allow him to return to football later this year,” he said.
“Lachie continues to remain focused on doing all he can to get back to football and will work closely with the club’s medical team on the next steps in his rehab.”
Geelong is already without Gary Ablett (hamstring), Cameron Guthrie (ankle), Nakia Cockatoo (knee) and Henderson’s defensive partner Harry Taylor (foot), but a number of young Cats have stepped up to fill the voids.
Second-year player Tom Stewart has been the biggest benefactor of Taylor’s absence from the Geelong side, according to Zach Tuohy.
The former Carlton defender has become close with his fellow half-back flanker, who joined the Cats at the same time.
Tuohy said Stewart had been the silver lining out of Taylor’s injury absence.
“He’s another guy, especially in the last two weeks, has gone to a whole new level,” Tuohy said.
“His first year was pretty impressive — obviously he’s a little bit older — but what he’s been able to do in the last two weeks . . . he’s gone to a whole new level, almost to the point where people are going to start looking at him and try to stop his influence, because it’s remarkable what he’s doing.”
Tuohy joked that he and Stewart, who are both into tattoos and golf, probably spend too much time together.
“I can take or leave him, he’s an all-right guy,” Tuohy laughed.
“We spend a little bit of time on the golf course dig- ging it up, but we get along well.
“Obviously we spend a lot of time playing together in proximity, so it’s kind of come off-field as well.”
The Cats have had to reshape their backline without Taylor and Lachie Henderson, but Tuohy said young defenders Jack Henry and Zach Guthrie had well equipped themselves at the level.
“This is great exposure for them,” he said.
“Guys like Zach Guthrie, we could tell pretty quickly he was going to have exceptional leadership qualities.
“Jack Henry comes in, the work he’s done and the steps he’s taken this pre-season has been remarkable.
“We’d like to get Harry and ‘Hendo’ back but the young guys are doing all right, I reckon.” GEELONG defender Jake Kolodjashnij has thrown his support behind the push for a Tasmanian AFL team.
Kolodjashnij, drafted to the Cats after impressing as a junior for Prospect and Launceston, admitted there was a lot to play out before his home state could have its own team, but said he was confident the Tasmanian community would get behind a state-based side.
“A lot of things have got to play out to get to that point but I’d love to see a team down there,” Kolodjashnij said. “It’s a footy first state and I think the community would definitely get around it.
“Even with North Melbourne and Hawthorn down there, I know when I was growing up I used to love to get down to the footy and watch those guys go about their business so I think if they had their own footy team down there everyone would back it and get behind it. “I can’t see why it wouldn’t work.”
The subject of a Tasmanian AFL team has been a topical one for years but has been a prominent topic of discussion within the AFL industry since the start of the season.
Richmond CEO Brendon Gale, an export of the Apple Isle, told 3AW on Saturday the state should have its own side and added it was clear that the league had to make a greater financial investment in Tasmanian football. “I don’t think there is enough money going into Tasmania, particularly (into) pathways and establishing academies,” Gale said.
Kolodjashnij joins a strong cohort of current players including Jack Riewoldt and Mitch Robinson, as well as Brisbane coach Chris Fagan, who would like to see an AFL team based in Tasmania, and said he was hopeful local officials could turn things around after some difficult times.
MILESTONE: Zach Tuohy at GMHBA Stadium yesterday ahead of his 150th game against Port Adelaide on Saturday.
Worry: Lachie Henderson has had more surgery on his knee.