Frustrated Thompson wants to play on - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Frustrated Thompson wants to play on

12/08/2008 07:35:08 PM Comments (0)

North Melbourne key forward Nathan Thompson says he wants to play on next year, but is unsure whether the AFL club shares that view.

And the Kangaroos have declined to give the 30-year-old any guarantees, saying his future will be determined at the end of the season.

Thompson, who missed the entire 2007 season after a knee reconstruction, admits he has been frustrated by a series of more minor setbacks this year.

He jarred the knee in round 10 and missed two games for minor surgery.

He was rested for another three games from round 16 onwards to recover lost leg strength, before injuring an ankle early in his return game against the Western Bulldogs on Sunday.

After playing through the pain to kick two vital goals against the Bulldogs, Thompson was confident he could play against Carlton on Sunday.

He was also confident that he could return to top form with an uninterrupted run in the side, but was less certain about his future beyond this year.

"The way I've been looking at it at the moment is I can't control whether the club wants me for next year or whether they don't," Thompson said.

"All I can do is try to get myself fit.

"As I said, it's been unfortunate that I've had a few injuries, but the rest of my body feels really good and I certainly want to play on next year, so I'll leave that in the hands of the club."

`Roos' football manager Donald McDonald said a decision on the forward's future would not be rushed.

"Thommo has worked really hard to come back from his knee injury and played an important role for the team on the weekend," McDonald said.

"At the moment he is focussed on getting himself as fit as possible.

"We will turn our attention to the longer-term future of all of our senior players at the end of this season."

Thompson was heartened by the experiences of other players who had taken a full year of football after a knee reconstruction to rediscover their best form.

"I certainly do think that another pre-season would do me the world of good, I still think that I can play at this level, if I didn't think that I would certainly hang up the boots," he said.

As well as his fitness battles, Thompson admits there will be selection pressure, given the `Roos' depth of tall forward options.

With ruckman Hamish McIntosh in contention to return from a long injury absence this weekend, fellow talls David Hale and Drew Petrie will be freed to spend more time in attack.

Another marking forward Aaron Edwards could also soon press for a spot after resuming from a leg injury in the VFL reserves last weekend.

"There isn't room for everyone up there, someone's going to miss out," Thompson said.

"But that's the great thing about the club ... we've got some good depth at the club and it just makes it hard to get a spot."

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