Bastinac puts illness drama behind him - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Bastinac puts illness drama behind him

04/01/2011 05:26:41 PM Comments (0)

North Melbourne midfield gun Ryan Bastinac put illness and workload dramas behind him to blitz the field in a 3.2-kilometre time trial at Princes Park.

The 19-year-old beat all comers in a time of about 10 minutes and 30 seconds, narrowly ahead of Brayden Norris and Lachie Hansen in North's first time trial of 2011.

Bastinac played all 22 games for the Kangaroos in his debut AFL season of 2010 and won North's October time trial before finishing just 12th in early December.

The former Dandenong Stingrays midfielder said he had returned from North's pre-season training camp in Utah feeling flat and was sent for a series of blood tests.

"I was pretty flat coming back from Utah," Bastinac told the kangaroos.com.au website.

"I think Utah just got to me, the altitude. They reckon I might have had a little virus, but nothing too severe.

"I was a little bit (worried). I didn't know what was going on."

Bastinac said he appreciated the lighter workload in December.

"I just need to freshen up," he said.

North Melbourne coach Brad Scott said it has been an outstanding effort for Bastinac to play all 22 games in his debut season, finishing equal ninth in the Syd Barker Medal.

"We were a bit concerned that he had a lot of work early in his career," Scott told reporters.

"We backed him off over December and he's come back in terrific shape, so that's really pleasing."

Scott said vice-captain Drew Petrie, who played only two games last year, had been rested from the time trial but was in good shape for the coming season.

"It's exciting for everyone. We had to rely heavily on under-sized players to play key-position roles last year without Drew," Scott said.

"Coming back from two or three broken bones in his feet, we didn't want him running on a hard surface."

Midfielder Leigh Adams, who had surgery last month for an intermittent rapid heart rate, was another strong performer in the time trial.

"I was a little bit hesitant about running today, because obviously it's a pretty tough run and getting the heart rate up so high," Adams said.

"But I got through fine and the heart feels good and the legs feel good, so hopefully most of the conditioning is out of the way and we can get towards the footy stuff now."

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