Mooney ready for AFL return: Scott - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Mooney ready for AFL return: Scott

Sam Lienert 26/07/2011 07:24:31 PM Comments (0)

Veteran Geelong forward Cameron Mooney is ready for an AFL return, says coach Chris Scott.

The 31-year-old, three-time AFL premiership player, has been nursed through the middle stages of the season in the VFL, as he deals with a chronic knee injury.

The 218-gamer has played just five AFL games so far this season, most recently in round 10.

Scott has said throughout that period, that the club was aiming to time Mooney's run so he could be at his best in August-September, for the tail-end of the home and away season and the finals.

He said the time had come to find out whether the veteran could physically cope at AFL level, with Mooney to return either against Melbourne on Saturday or Gold Coast a week later.

"I'm supremely confident that if he's in his best shape, and playing close to his best footy, then he's in our best 22. There's no doubt about that," Scott told reporters on Tuesday, according to the AFL website.

"The question was: 'Can he get back to somewhere near his best shape?'

"It's not a foregone conclusion, but he's done enough to suggest to us that he needs to test it at the top level."

While Scott said the timing of Mooney's return fitted with the club's long-term plan, they could not predict how he would cope.

"We've got to keep assessing it day-by-day and week-by-week and we don't know what we're going to get from him at senior level," Scott said.

"He doesn't know either, but he's done the work required to get himself to this point where he's in contention."

Mooney has kicked 19 goals in his six-game VFL stint.

Captain Cameron Ling (soreness), ruckman Brad Ottens (knee) and forward Steve Johnson (corked buttock) are all expected to return from minor injuries.

But Shannon Byrnes (calf) will be sidelined and forwards James Podsiadly and Mathew Stokes will be assessed, after copping head knocks during Sunday's win over Richmond.

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