Cross comeback stalls

Updated: December 4, 2015
Jye Cross is doing some of his rehab with the Geelong VFL squad. Picture: AL PACKER
Jye Cross is doing some of his rehab with the Geelong VFL squad. Picture: AL PACKER

Jye Cross is doing some of his rehab with the Geelong VFL squad. Picture: AL PACKER

STAR Leopold defender Jye Cross has hit a roadblock in his return from a knee reconstruction.

Cross, who injured in the knee in a training drill on June 16, is being hampered by fluid on his knee.

“The strength, range of motion and balance is all perfect in it, it’s just that I’ve still got fluid on my knee, which means that I can’t progress to the next stage until the fluid is gone,” Cross said.

“I’ve had it drained and it looks like the fluid is starting to leave, which means, hopefully, very soon I’ll be back on the running track.”

The 20-year-old, who represented the GFL at Interleague level says as a result there is no set date for his return to playing.

“At the moment it’s too hard to predict with where I’m at,” Cross said.

“I really can’t say. If the fluid goes, I could be back sooner than what we thought.

“If it doesn’t, I could be back on time.

“Even if it does go, I could still be late coming back.

“We’re not putting timelines on things anymore because it stresses me out if I’m not making timelines.”

Helping Cross take his mind off his recovery has been his inclusion in Geelong’s VFL training squad.

It is here he has been able to pick the brain of Cats’ veteran Ben Raidme, who missed the entire 2014 season after suffering a similar injury.

“Talking to ‘Raids’, he had the same situation, the first two months I was absolutely flying along and I thought ‘yeah, this is going well’, then it hits a brick wall,” Cross said.

“I’m in that period now. It’s more mentally challenging than physical, that’s for sure.

“It’s good to talk to blokes who have been through it before, who know what’s going on so I know myself that I’m not falling behind.

“It settles the mind a little bit.”

Cross says his invite down to the Cats has also helped him keep a positive outlook.

“They’re looking after me exceptionally well. They’re putting a lot of effort into getting me right,” he said.

“They’ve got two physios, trainers, four strength and conditioning coaches – you’ve got advice coming left, right and centre.

“That obviously helps a lot. There’s no stone unturned.”

He also received a boost from Leopold teammate Tom Ruggles being selected by the Cats as a 23-year-old in last week’s Rookie Draft.

“Knowing him makes it more unreal that he got picked up. Everyone’s happy for him.

“To be picked up from your own backyard, after seeing him play and what he does behind the scenes, it’s very good to see him go.”

Having been overlooked in the 2013 draft period after time at the Geelong Falcons, Cross says Ruggles’ story gives him hope he could also live out his AFL dream.

“I’ll push myself as much as my body will let me to play the best standard that I can,” he said.

“If one day it happens, it’ll be pretty cool, but if doesn’t it doesn’t.”

Twitter: @tom_king79