After Jared Polec left the field during the Round 3 clash with the Western Bulldogs, his worst fears were realised when he found out he’d re-injured his hamstring.
Since suffering the injury on April 3, Polec has undertaken an intensive recovery and rehabilitation period at Arden Street.
Making his return in Saturday’s VFL win over Werribee, the number 13’s class and experience ensured he stood up tall when the game was on the line.
Injuries to VFL-listed players meant he ended up playing the entirety of the last three quarters.
“Fitness wise I feel like I ran the game out well so I’m pretty happy,” Polec told North Media.
“It was really good to get through and get a bit of run into the legs.
“I spent about 15 minutes on the bench in the first quarter … [but] I think I was always going to play a full game.
“It can be pretty hard to get me off the ground as well when I feel like I’m playing pretty well as well.”
When players spent 11 weeks on the sidelines they can return to the side, whether that be AFL or VFL, showing some signs of rust and a comparative lack of match fitness.
Polec, however, looked sharp, racking up both contested and uncontested ball.
Playing much of the game in his usual wing position, his laser of a left foot set teammates up time and time again across all areas of the ground.
“I didn’t feel rusty at all, I felt pretty comfortable. It was straight back into what I usually do and it felt like business as usual,” Polec said.
“I’ve had a really good build up from injury this time around from the hammy, so I felt pretty comfortable that I was right to go.
“It turned out to be a good win for the boys and a pretty good day.”
After a successful return to competitive football, Polec will be looking to press his claim for senior selection for this week’s clash with the Western Bulldogs.