Bashing had no impact on form: Cloke - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Bashing had no impact on form: Cloke

By Adam Cooper 14/05/2009 06:07:27 PM Comments (0)

Injured Collingwood star Travis Cloke insists his bashing in a pre-season assault has had no bearing on his struggles early in 2009.

The big forward managed just seven goals from the opening seven games and his below-par start was made worse by a slight hamstring strain suffered towards the end of Monday night's thrashing to St Kilda, which will keep him out of Sunday's clash against Carlton.

Cloke's hopes of seamlessly continuing his good run from 2007-08 into this season were hampered when he was assaulted by a group of men on Queensland's Sunshine Coast on New Year's Eve.

He suffered injuries to his cheekbone and jaw and had several teeth broken, and his father David has admitted his son still bore some mental scars from the attack.

The man charged with the assault later died in a motorcycle crash.

Travis Cloke conceded this had been the worst start to a season he had endured, but refused to attribute his lean run to his assault.

"I've pretty much moved on from there," he said on Thursday.

"I still feel very confident to go out there and play football and hit the ball and the contest as hard as ever.

"I guess I'm not getting the ball as much, and if I don't look like I'm leading up as much, I still feel like I'm working as hard, but I'm just not getting the reward for it.

"It's football - you play one good game, you play a bad one and I've had six (bad games) in a row so hopefully there's a few good ones on the horizon for me."

The Magpies will also hope their bad recent injury run ceases soon, as the fall-out from the defeat to St Kilda also included the loss of forward Anthony Rocca (groin), ruckman Josh Fraser (knee) and midfielder Dale Thomas (knee).

In keeping with the Pies' injury woes, even a visit to Rod Laver Arena to watch the Crusty Demons motorcycle stunt team in action on Thursday came with a cost, as one of the riders crashed just before the players arrived, and broke his wrist.

Cloke was hopeful he and half-forward Alan Didak could both return from their hamstring injuries to play West Coast at Subiaco in round nine.

"Hopefully the curse does go away, if there is a curse," he said.

"We are pretty confident the rest of the boys will be up and going in the next couple of weeks."

Collingwood regained forward Paul Medhurst, midfielders Leon Davis and Dayne Beams from injury and welcomed sharpshooter John Anthony back from suspension to play the Blues.

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