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Bigger, stronger Ruddock returns

Saturday, 28th May, 2016

Jackson Ruddock returns for the Bulldogs today. PICTURE: Tyler Hannigan Jackson Ruddock returns for the Bulldogs today. PICTURE: Tyler Hannigan

By Tyler Hannigan

Round 3 2015. That was the last time that North footballer Jackson Ruddock made an appearance in the blue and white of the Bulldogs but after 12 long months of rehab and training, Ruddock is all set to line up this today versus South at the Jubilee Oval.

“I’m just really eager to get back out on the park and have a run with the lads,” said Ruddock of his impending return.

“I’ve been training for over a month and I’m just ready to go.”

After Jackson went down with the ACL injury, the club sought advice from Adelaide Crows captain and former North player, Taylor Walker.

Walker directed them to the specialist that treated his own knee injury in 2013. 

While other sufferers have risked further damage by returning too early, Jackson wasn’t allowed to do any running for seven months after suffering the injury. This will hopefully mean that he won’t suffer any setbacks further down the line.

Ruddock spent his time off in the gym, bulking up 16kg to 84kg which has also coincided with a growth spurt putting him at over 190cm.

This amounts to making Ruddock an imposing proposition in the midfield and also opens up the options of him holding down a key-position post for the Bulldogs.

When quizzed whether there was any thought on bringing Ruddock back through the reserves grade, father and North senior coach David Ruddock said: “There might have been, but we feel we can manage him through the game, even if he only plays 12-15 minutes of each quarter.

“With four players on the bench it becomes doable. If we only had three it might be too difficult but it should be fine with four.”

Jackson has recently started a new job with the Broken Hill City Council which he says has made training much easier with a more regular work schedule which has helped get him back into fitness, ready for today’s big clash.

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