Jack Viney (centre) says his body is ready to face the rigours of AFL finals football.Returning Melbourne captain Jack Viney says his body will stand up for his first AFL final – Friday’s almighty clash with Geelong.
Viney has played just seven games for the season, missing the first eight rounds and the last seven with a foot injury.
A conservative rehabilitation has given the Demons skipper the chance to run out for his eighth game of the year, and his first ever in September, in the do-or-die elimination final at the MCG.
“(Fitness coach) Daniel Cross has been smashing me in rehab,” he said on Thursday
“I’m feeling fresh and ready to go.”
Viney’s right foot has been the source of much consternation over the past two seasons.
The 24-year-old Demons skipper has fought plantar fasciitis and subsequent stresses in an attempt to stay on the park.
A stumbling rehabilitation last season meant this year, when he was forced out after round 16, there would be no cutting corners.
“I was in a pretty similar position last year where I probably did the opposite and pushed it and it didn’t come off good for it,” he said.
“You learn from your mistakes.
“Last time I had a few hiccups along the way. This time around it’s been really smooth.”
Viney gave the hint that he’d be looking at more off-season treatment following the end of the Demons’ finals campaign.
“Come post season we’ll do a bit of a look into it. Really dig deep and see if there’s anything,” he said.
“In the short term I’m pretty confident with it. Really happy with how it’s feeling and tracking.”
While Melbourne are confident their midfield leader has recovered from his injury enough to play – and play well – against the Cats, there’s also the issue of match fitness.
Viney said he’d find his way.
“I’m really confident I’ll be able to hit the ground running,” he said.
“My match fitness will be good. I’ll be trying to find the tempo of the game pretty early and once I’ve found it I think I’ll fit in pretty nicely.”