McCarrey fighting to be back ASAP for Bulldogs

Thursday, May 2, 2013 - 11:20 PM

SOUTH Fremantle veteran swingman Andrew McCarrey was relieved he didn’t get the worst possible news when he injured his knee and can't wait to get back on the field to have a big second half of the 2013 season.

McCarrey injured his knee during South Fremantle's Round 6 loss to Subiaco at Fremantle Oval and feared that he could have ruptured his anterior cruciate ligament, but scans later revealed that his ACL was intact and that he damaged his medial ligament.

The 30-year-old veteran of 173 games who has two state games and two fairest and best awards to his credit over a terrific career is relieved that his career will be able to continue and is already pencilling in his return to the field to come sometime in June.

"I'm all locked up in a brace at the moment after I did my medial ligament against Subi a couple of weeks ago. I'm pretty lucky considering it could have been a lot worse and we've seen a few ACL's just in the weekend gone in the AFL so I'm pretty lucky to get away with just the medial," McCarrey said.

"I have to wear this brace for another three weeks or so and then I'm aiming to be back playing in about seven weeks. When I first did it I thought I had done the whole lot and I'm 30 now, and am involved with other things in my life too.

"It would have been a long road back from a full reconstruction and it's something I would have had to weigh up, but I'm just lucky it's not and I'm getting stuck into my rehab so I can get playing some footy."

South Fremantle's season obviously hasn’t gone to plan just yet losing the opening six games of the campaign but McCarrey thinks that it can still turn around quickly if the Bulldogs can start stringing four quarters together beginning this Saturday against East Perth at Leederville's Medibank Stadium.

"Obviously it's no secret that we are struggling so far this year, but to the boy's credit and Hase's credit we are staying positive. That's the best way to view it in the end. We have showed a lot of good signs in our games and generally it has been some inconsistency that has let us down across the board," he said.

"We just haven’t been able to string four quarters together. We have played some good footy but it has been patchy footy and I think that is a reflection of the youth that we have and the inexperience in the squad.

"It takes time to develop the ability to maintain that mental focus for four quarters because we do have the skills. It's going to take a bit of focus over the next few weeks to maintain that positive focus, but I don’t think it's far away. We have been right in most of the games we’ve played and it's just been a quarter or so that has let us down."

Despite the fact that a win hasn’t come the Bulldogs' way so far this season, McCarrey sees plenty of positives around the club with some of the new things put in place this season particularly that has helped them be in tremendous physical shape.

McCarrey is also confident that coach Paul Hasleby is the right man to lead the Bulldogs back to being a power club through rebuilding the player list with a whole heap of youngsters now developing and coming through with the majority of the 2009 premiership side having moved on.

"One of Paul's biggest assets is his ability to relate to the young boys. Obviously a lot of them would have idolised him growing up and watched his career so have that respect for him, and I really do think that Hase is the right guy for the job and will hold us in good stead heading forward," McCarrey said.

"There has been a lot of positives and changes at the club. We were probably due for some changes as well with things getting a bit stagnant down there and getting Mike Vegar on board as the new fitness and conditioning coach has really been a big asset.

"We do have a very young squad and the guys have needed to bulk up and probably get a bit fitter as opposed to last year so I think we have really improved in those areas. It's just a shame that we haven’t really been able to put the runs on the board and follow through with a few wins."

By Chris Pike