Jolly comeback date a mystery - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Jolly comeback date a mystery

19/05/2011 01:48:31 PM Comments (0)

The timeline surrounding Darren Jolly's return to AFL action has blurred further, with Collingwood coach Mick Malthouse refusing to commit to a comeback date for the ruckman.

Malthouse says it is a case of "when" rather than "if" Jolly returns from a knee problem, which has sidelined him for the past month and required minor surgery.

But the mystery surrounding his return deepened as Malthouse said he would wait until Jolly was 100 per cent fit - and even then err on the side of caution - before returning him to action.

Certainly he won't be back for the clash with Adelaide at Etihad Stadium on Sunday.

And Malthouse also flagged the prospect of Jolly's return being shelved until round 14 in late June - the week after Collingwood's next bye.

"He has had an arthroscope ... and at his age our reckoning is with those types of injuries is that a jumping player has still got to land," Malthouse said.

"We're in a position where we don't have to panic.

"We've got four weeks before our next bye.

"The reality is if he plays in that time, it will be because he is 100 per cent of what you can be after coming back from an arthroscope, plus another week just to make sure he's right."

The news is more positive for skipper Nick Maxwell and defender Ben Johnson, who return from injury for the Crows clash.

Maxwell has been sidelined with a calf problem, while Johnson did not play in last weekend's loss to Geelong with a back injury.

The coach has implored his players to make a better start than they did in the narrow defeat to Geelong last weekend - the Pies' first this season in their premiership defence.

"What we learned is you can't just wander out on the football ground ... every opposition hunts the premiership side," Malthouse said.

"We have to be game enough in the middle of the ring and throw the first punch. We can't sit back and be a punching bag."

Malthouse said onballer Dayne Beams and utility John McCarthy were also in line for call-ups after impressive reserves form.

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