Stephen Coniglio is desperate to return. Pic: AAP
Stephen Coniglio is desperate to return. Pic: AAP

‘Amazing’ Coniglio eyes miracle MCG return

"Start strapping your boots."

That's the message from the GWS playing group to their medical miracle Stephen Coniglio, who is now officially pushing to play in Saturday's preliminary final against Collingwood.

Coach Leon Cameron talked Coniglio's prospects of returning after nine weeks out with a serious knee injury as "small", but electric forward Toby Greene believes the glimmer of hope is getting bigger.

 

Stephen Coniglio knows he’s racing the clock. Picture. Phil Hillyard
Stephen Coniglio knows he’s racing the clock. Picture. Phil Hillyard

 

Coniglio texted Greene before Saturday's epic win over Brisbane at the Gabba to declare his body is feeling "amazing" after an extraordinary race-against-the-clock rehabilitation following mid-season knee surgery.

Saturday was his best training run to date and it seems even if he falls short this week, he'd be a red-hot chance for the grand final should GWS qualify.

The superstar midfielder gave the Giants an immeasurable boost when he knocked back multimillion-dollar offers to commit his career to GWS - but the competition's most sought-after commodity's biggest influence could yet come at the MCG, starting this week against the Magpies.

"He texted me today and said he felt amazing at training and that glimmer of hope is probably a bit bigger now," said Greene on Channel 7.

"I guess we'll have to wait and see but I'll give him a call and say, 'get ready, start strapping your boots.'

 

Coniglio gets a kick away under pressure during AFL Semi Final match between the GWS Giants v Collingwood at the MCG. Pic: Phil Hillyard
Coniglio gets a kick away under pressure during AFL Semi Final match between the GWS Giants v Collingwood at the MCG. Pic: Phil Hillyard

 

"Hopefully we can give him a chance to play either this week or next week."

Coach Cameron is adamant the Giants will not jeopardise Coniglio's long-term health for the sake of one finals' campaign.

He is reluctant to rush Coniglio back, but the Giant-for-life won't want to wait until next season to lead his club to a historic premiership.

Is it his time now?

"He's probably an outside chance, he had a really good session on Saturday," said Cameron.

"He's progressing well and he's doing lots of agility and lots of running.

"He's starting to do some footy stuff.

"We'll look at it in seven days' time if he can get a couple of good sessions in. But as we've said before, if there is any doubt we won't be taking him in to any game.

"It's probably a small chance."

 

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News Corp Australia


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