Stewart recovering well from foot injury

Tom Stewart (Geelong Cats) 259627_01

Ash Bolt

Reigning Geelong best and fairest winner Tom Stewart has returned to the track following a foot injury that prematurely ended his 2021 season.

Stewart injured his lisfranc ligament at training before Geelong’s round 22 game against St Kilda and missed the club’s finals campaign.

But the defender has had a strong off-season in the gym and has started running again ahead of the official start of pre-season training.

Geelong general manager of football Simon Lloyd said Stewart had been “faultless” in his rehabilitation from the injury.

“Tom has been completing 10 kilometre sessions twice per week,” Lloyd said.

“This is his pre-pre-season and we’re seeing him in at the club most days and he’s working closely with a group of half a dozen other players doing running and kicking with that group of players.

“He’s building up his loading and doing everything from change of direction, running, jumping, kicking.

“He’s in a really good place.”

Lloyd said the club’s medical staff had worked with industry experts to set a detailed plan for Stewart’s recovery, which was reaping rewards.

“He’s been guided very closely by our strength and conditioning and physio departments and we’re liaising closely with external experts,” Lloyd said.

“He’s been fastidious with his attention to detail, particularly ticking off all his performance indicators.

“Tom’s focus is on being in a good place prior to the start of pre-season. He’s really “excited and ready to have some fun leading into the pre-season.”

Stewart will officially return to the club for pre-season training with all five-year-plus players from December 6.

He’ll have a few new teammates, with the AFL draft taking place this week.

Geelong was not involved in the first round of the draft on Wednesday night, having previously traded its first round pick to Richmond last year.

However the Cats did strengthen their hand for the second night of the draft, completing a pick swap with the Western Bulldogs.

The trade took place before a player had been selected with the Cats acquiring pick 23 in exchange for selections 32 and 34.

It was also a nervous night for Geelong Falcons draft hopefuls Mitch Knevitt and Toby Conway, with neither player selected in the first round.