Knee surgery slows skipper

Knee surgery slows skipper

IT says a bit about the sort of luck North Melbourne skipper Jack Ziebell has endured in recent years that he’s been slowed by off-season surgery again and it’s actually good news.

Ziebell told reporters on Friday that he has started his preparation for 2019 on a modified program following off-season knee surgery.

The Kangaroos star played all 22 games last season, but required a minor clean- out of a knee that caused him some discomfort towards the end of the 2018 campaign.

Given the serious nature of the various injuries and surgeries he has dealt with in recent years, the 27-year-old’s latest issue barely registers on his radar.

“I’m probably a week or two away from main training, but I’m well ahead of where I’ve been for the last few years so I’m in a really good position personally,” Ziebell said.

“It was all very minor and I was running a few weeks after it, so it was no stress at all.

“(It troubled me) a bit toward the end but it was nothing that we couldn’t manage … it just needed a bit of a tidy up.

“… I’ve been restricted the last few years with some injuries but I’m excited to get a bit of work done before Christmas to hopefully set myself up for a big 2019.”

North’s full list, including recent draftees and trade additions, assembled for the first time this week.

After finishing ninth last season, the Roos have been boosted by off-season signings Jared Polec, Aaron Hall, Jasper Pittard and Dom Tyson.

Ziebell is confident a finals berth is within reach next season.

“We were all fully aware of what we’re capable of and it was disappointing not to make the finals,” he said.

“I think that adds a little more motivation for this year.

“… the guys we’ve added will obviously help us improve but I think the biggest improvement will come from the core team we have at the moment with the young guys coming through.

“We saw last (season) with guys like Trent Dumont, Jy Simpkin and Jed Anderson really improving … that’s where I think our improvement is going to come from.”

© AAP 2018