Young Cats’ defender Jordan Clark admitted to facing some challenging times towards the end of his debut season in the AFL.
The 19-year-old West Australian was a standout in his first year playing 18 of a possible 19 games and earning himself a Rising Star nomination in Round 15.
Unfortunately Clark’s season was cut short when he landed awkwardly on his elbow at training just three weeks out from the club’s finals campaign.
Surgery to his triceps tendon ruled him out of the remainder of the season.
“I found it a bit tough through parts of last year,” Clark told Cats Media at the club’s young players camp at Lorne on Thursday.
“Obviously had the injury at the end of the year, which made it a bit tougher.
“Being away from family and watching the boys play finals and not being able to be a part of it was pretty tough.”
The post-season break came at the perfect time for Clark.
“Probably for me the break came at a good time.
“I was able to get home for most of the time and just be with my family.”
The talented youngster admitted that the injury and spending time with his teammates gave him some perspective.
“All the boys have been there, they all know.
“I’m not the first bloke to go through an injury and miss the finals and I won’t be the last so I just sort of have to suck it up and move on.”
Clark’s rehab has been progressing steadily and it won’t be long until he returns to full training.
“(My) elbow’s coming along pretty well, I’ve got most of my movement back.
“We’re still looking at about two months from being full contact.
“Obviously being pre-season there’s no real rush to get back as there’s no games for just over three months, so the docs and the physio's and myself have been working pretty hard over the last couple of weeks, but like I said there’s no rush to force things yet.”
Clark was part of the young players camp who spent the night down at Lorne this week with the club’s new draftees.
So far Clark’s been impressed with the club’s latest recruits.
“There’s quite a mix of personalities already in there and it’s just good to have a few different blokes come in and change it up a little bit.
“They’ve started really well and the boys are rapt and it’s been good to be around them.”