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Staker remains hopeful

Friday, 30th May, 2014

Brent Staker marks during a match between the Brisbane Lions and the Greater Western Sydney Giants at the Gabba last year. PICTURE: AAP Brent Staker marks during a match between the Brisbane Lions and the Greater Western Sydney Giants at the Gabba last year. PICTURE: AAP

By Ethan James

Brisbane Lions utility Brent Staker remains hopeful of returning to the field this season despite describing his current calf injury as his worst yet.

Staker underwent back-to-back knee reconstructions in 2011 and 2012 but said that his current rehabilitation has been the most difficult.

“A lot of people probably wouldn’t understand the rarity of this injury,” he told AFL.com.au.

“It’s something that has never happened before, a calf tear in this particular position and how it tore and the other parts around the calf that were involved.

“This is the injury that has tested me the most. I’ve had two knee reconstructions, cartilage, bone graft, broken thumb and out of all the injuries, this is the one that has really tested my patience.

“It was the not knowing of how it happened - then the not knowing of how to repair it, timeframes, waiting for your body to react and heal as well.”

Staker ran for the first time on Tuesday morning since suffering the rare tendon problem just behind his knee in February.

While the session only included a total eight minutes of running ñ 30 seconds on, 30 seconds off ñ it was a step in the right direction.

“If I have no more hiccups from here on in, an awesome outcome for me would be to play the last six games of the year,” he said.

“That’d be realistic because you’ve got to do a mini pre-season, go through the reserves and get some match fitness, get an idea of the game again and get back out there.”

Staker played 15 games in 2013 and signed a two-year contract extension.

“I have turned 30, but I still think there’s plenty of time ahead,” he said.

“While you’re on the sidelines, I’m a bit of a worrier, so you worry and think the game is moving so fast but as soon as you start training again and

get back around the boys, you just fit back in and feel great.

“When your body’s feeling good, you feel unstoppable.”

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