Essendon ruckman Sam Draper will return to full coaching for the primary time since he underwent groin surgical procedure and is “ache free” forward of a possible observe match bout later this month.
The 25-year-old hopes to hitch Bombers teammates on the monitor for the total session on Wednesday after slowly growing his coaching masses since present process surgical procedure on the finish of final season.
Draper wouldn’t put a share quantity on his present health however mentioned he was focusing on a return in both an AFL or VFL pre-season sport after a “nice couple of weeks” of rehab.
He mentioned absolutely match recruit Todd Goldstein was clearly forward of him within the Bombers’ ruck pecking order as they approached the season, however was adamant he may play in tandem with the North Melbourne nice when he was match to return to senior degree.
Draper performed 13 consecutive video games to start the 2023 season and shaped an efficient partnership with retired ruck Andrew Phillips earlier than he was struck down by harm, after which the Bombers solely managed to win three of the following eight video games and fell out of the highest eight.
“The final two weeks I’ve been working round, kicking footy’s, doing little drills right here and there with the boys and being pain-free, which is nice,” he mentioned on Tuesday.
“I’m coaching (Wednesday) with the group which is kind of thrilling, so I’m feeling actually good … hitting pace, that’s no difficulty, it’s simply extra the quick and sharp stuff I reckon. (Wednesday) is a giant check for me, so I’m actually excited for that.
“I’m hoping to (play a pre-season sport) – I’ve been making an attempt to not suppose too far forward with this harm … however I positively am aiming to play a few of these observe video games.
“I’m unsure what that appears like whether or not it’s AFL or VFL, however my largest factor is primary coaching tomorrow with the boys, and I’ll be wanting to do this.”
Draper mentioned the obvious failure of the Max Gawn-Brodie Grundy mixture at Melbourne didn’t discourage him from believing he may type a robust partnership with Goldstein, pointing to his influence as a ahead when he performed alongside Phillips final 12 months.
“Me and Andrew Phillips have been enjoying effectively collectively earlier than Gawn and Grundy (occurred), so … I really feel like we did work effectively collectively, me and Flip,” he mentioned with a smile.
“Goldy is an incredible participant too so I really feel prefer it positively can work … I’m actually totally different to another rucks I reckon, I can play ahead and really feel comfy there.
“I feel we will positively be a great partnership collectively, I feel the final couple of years I’ve learnt my craft within the ahead line and I really feel actually comfy enjoying ahead … simply get my goalkicking proper and I really feel like I’m fairly harmful.”
Draper didn’t rule out a spherical 1 return at senior degree, however mentioned he would wish to handle his groin difficulty fastidiously within the early phases of the season earlier than hoping to have the ability to “neglect” the saga.
“It would imply I may need to relaxation per week, I’m not fairly certain, however positively a extra cautious method popping out of this rehab post-surgery finish of September,” he mentioned.
“(Brad Scott) has been superior at simply saying, ‘there’s no strain on while you come again – everytime you’re 100 per cent, you’re good’.
“It’s irritating, however studying find out how to cope with that frustration, I feel it’s positively going to carry me in good stead for the longer term.”
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