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Kelly Confident After Body Battles

GIANT Josh Kelly is roaring into form after some early season setbacks.
The boys feel like we're really starting to play to each other's strengths and we keep each other involved all day.
GIANTS midfielder Josh Kelly

One burst of explosive speed against Melbourne at the MCG two weeks ago was a good enough sign that Josh Kelly's injury worries could finally be a thing of the past.

Kelly jetted away from a contest and left a couple of Demons in his wake. 

It was a move that would have put a smile on the face of his coach Leon Cameron, who was watching just metres away on the interchange bench.

Kelly missed six games last season with a groin injury and needed surgery on his hip over summer to fix the issue – along with another operation on his knee – and returned in round three this year. 

He's averaged a career-high 30.1 possessions and 5.5 clearances so far in 2019 and has really looked back to his best over the past three weeks in wins over Carlton, Melbourne and Gold Coast.

He told AFL.com.au that after a frustrating 18 months or so, he's happy to be running on top of the ground again. 

"The body is feeling really good at the moment," he said. 

"After a couple of surgeries, I had a delayed start to the season just to make sure I didn't have any ongoing issues throughout the year," he said.

"It's still a juggling act. In a perfect world I'd be training every day and practising good habits, but the focus is still on making sure the hip and groin area is pulling up well.

"I've had no problems since I came back so hopefully it can stay that way.

"I feel like I've been able to get some consistency with my football and start building my confidence which is coming along nicely." 

With Kelly and fellow vice-captain Stephen Coniglio (finger) back in outstanding form after early-season niggles, emerging talents Tim Taranto and Jacob Hopper leading the Giants for disposals this season, and Matt de Boer reinvigorated by his run-with role, the GIANTS midfield has maintained its standing as one of the competition's best. 

Throw in consistent wingmen Adam Tomlinson and Harry Perryman, and cameos from stars like Lachie Whitfield and Toby Greene, and the coach has plenty of quality options to lean on alongside ruckman Shane Mumford.

"We're getting some great cohesion in there," Kelly said. 

"The boys feel like we're really starting to play to each other's strengths and we keep each other involved all day.

"We've thrown quite a few boys through there and I think it's great because it keeps everyone fresh, everyone up and about, and I guess it gives everyone their lick of the lollipop." 

Kelly said the team's round 10 win over the Demons wasn't just important for the four points, but it taught the players a lot about maintaining focus.

The GIANTS dominated the match and won a rare clash at the MCG but gave up seven last-quarter goals. 

They responded against the Suns to boot nine goals in the final term. 

"We know what makes us play our best football, and that's some really good defence and contested footy," he said.

"That's something we have to control week by week. 

"Against Melbourne we did it for three quarters and against the Suns we were able to grind it out for four quarters.

"That last quarter against the Demons showed us what happens if we're not going at 100 per cent all the time, so every week we're learning new things about our team and what it's going to take to go as far as we can this year."