Stokes hurts ankle in VFL comeback - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Stokes hurts ankle in VFL comeback

By Sam Lienert 18/04/2010 02:37:42 PM Comments (0)

Geelong's Matthew Stokes has had an early setback in his return to football from a club-imposed ban over drug charges, injuring an ankle in his VFL comeback.

The 25-year-old rolled his ankle early in the final quarter of Sunday's Skilled Stadium loss to Box Hill.

He was helped from the field by trainers and did not return.

Cats VFL coach Dale Amos said the early diagnosis was that the injury was only minor and Stokes should be available next weekend.

"I thought it caught him off-guard more than anything," Amos said.

"He just rolled it, it was just uncomfortable for him, so we left him off.

"He almost played (the amount of game time) we needed him to play anyway, so we were okay."

Stokes is due back in court on April 27 on charges of possessing and trafficking cocaine.

The 2007 premiership player, who missed last year's grand final win with a groin strain, was banned by Geelong from training with the AFL squad until last week and Sunday's match was the first time he was allowed to play in the VFL.

He cannot play an AFL game until round eight.

Amos said Stokes had responded well to the penalty.

"His attitude's been first-rate. There's been no fanfare about his introduction into training with the VFL squad and now the introduction back into the AFL environment," the VFL coach said.

"He's been business as usual, come back and been really respectful and humble and just gone about doing his business."

He said he was impressed by the performance of Stokes, who played about 75 per cent of the VFL match before he was injured.

"Early on when our pressure wasn't great, he was really good, so good signs for him. He didn't look like he was short of a gallop, he looked like he was better than that," Amos said.

"If his ankle's okay, next week, the second week back tends to be a little bit tougher sometimes, guys tend to be a bit flatter, so hopefully he can come up and play again next week."

Another AFL premiership forward working his way back through the VFL, Max Rooke, finished the game on the bench after copping a knock to the shoulder.

But Amos said Rooke, on the road back from a knee injury, was fine and he was only left on the bench as a precaution.

Hawthorn midfielder Shaun Burgoyne made his comeback from knee and hamstring injuries for Box Hill in the same match.

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