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Deledio Over Rehab 'Hoodoo'

By Adam Curley - AFL Media  May 18, 2017 6:08 PM

Brett Deledio is eyeing a mid-season return.

Brett Deledio is eyeing a mid-season return.

I'll be cheering for my mates, but I'll be cheering more for our boys to get the win.

GIANTS recruit Brett Deledio has overcome his rehabilitation "hoodoo" this week and is confident of a mid-season comeback.

Deledio is yet to pull on a GIANTS jumper in a competitive match after straining his right calf in February, and has suffered more than one reoccurrence of the problem since, but has been running strongly for the past fortnight.

The 30-year-old has built up his training on a couple of occasions already over the past three months, before having to back off his workload when his troublesome right calf failed to respond, but after a power of work with the GIANTS' strength and conditioning staff, the dual All Australian is finally feeling positive about a return to the playing field.

"Wednesday was the hurdle we needed to jump to get over the hoodoo," he said.

"We built up the calf and made it really strong, but it's still (about taking it) slowly, slowly ... and I'm hoping to be out there around the (round 13) bye.

"I've been doing Barre classes, a lot of calf and glute work to strengthen up my mid-section, walking backwards on treadmills with weighted vests, and calf raise upon calf raise just to make it strong, and hopefully bulletproof.

"I'm itching to be out there playing footy, and I'm rapt just to be out running on the ground, rather than being inside cross training."

Deledio said scar tissue in the soleus (lower calf) muscle, plus a previous injury to his left Achilles, which was causing him to over work his right calf, were contributing factors to this year's issues.

The former Richmond star admitted that at his worst his frustration levels had reached maximum capacity following his third setback, especially when the experts couldn't put a finger on the exact cause of his persistent problems. 

"I was really enjoying my footy, getting fit and fitting in with the boys, but post-Christmas I had a setback, then did it again, and then again," he said.

"I'd get back to training then get some soreness in a different spot, then wait a couple of weeks and get it right, then have another setback after three of four sessions.

"It's a real challenge when you can't find the answer as to why things keep happening."

Saturday's round nine clash between his new club and his old teammates has been circled on Deledio's calendar for months, but given he can't get on the park to welcome the Tigers to Spotless Stadium, his input into the GIANTS' preparation has been reduced to providing coach Leon Cameron with some scouting notes.

"As soon as the fixture came out I looked to see when we were playing the Tiges, and I keep in regular contact with those boys to see how they're going," he said.

"It'll be a different feeling watching this weekend because it's a club I spent 12 years at, so I'll be cheering for my mates, but I'll be cheering more for our boys to get the win."

There’s nowhere you’d rather be on Saturday afternoon than in the stands cheering on the GIANTS as they take on Richmond at 4.35pm, click here to get your tickets now.