Healthy Aaron Sandilands toey for 2012
Fremantle will monitor linchpin Aaron Sandilands over the pre-season after a modified fitness program has the ruck giant feeling “100 per cent ready to go” following his frustrating season of injury.
Sandilands damaged the tendon in his left big toe in Round 9 before suffering a recurrence of the injury when he returned in Round 14, a setback that forced him to miss nine games.
The towering ruckman struggled to have his usual impact upon return for the final four games of the season, with the exception of his remarkable 37 hitouts and 24 disposals against Collingwood in Round 23.
The Dockers took the 28-year-old off running work following the season, limiting his recovery to cycling and swimming.
Sandilands, who returned to Perth on Friday from a three-week holiday in Thailand, is set to begin pre-season with Fremantle’s senior players on November 21 and said he did not expect to be hindered by his injury.
“My body’s really good, my foot’s got no issues and I’m back doing a bit of running now, and it’s pulling up well,” Sandilands said.
“Rest was the No.1 thing for it, I just have to let it all heal and mend together.
“It was a one-off injury and I’ve been doing a lot of strength work with it, so all the muscles around the area are nice and strong now, so I shouldn’t have any issues with it.
“I don’t think (my program will be modified), once I come back. I’ll be 100 per cent ready to go.
“There might be the odd thing that will be monitored, but hopefully I can get through most of it.”
The national draft is sure to attract attention to Sandilands’ 17-year-old brother, Chad, but the triple All-Australian said the focus was unlikely to faze the 204cm teenager.
“Chad’s the sort of kid who doesn’t get nervous about a lot of things,” Aaron said. “He’s down doing pre-season with East Fremantle colts at the moment, so we’ll see what happens.”