Sport AFL Dale Thomas: I’ll be ready for round one

Dale Thomas: I’ll be ready for round one

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Carlton AFL recruit Dale Thomas says he has no idea why his former club Collingwood have doubts over his playing future and he’s confident his ankle problems won’t stop him playing in round one.

The 2011 All-Australian midfielder played only five games in 2013, with Collingwood coach Nathan Buckley commenting on Wednesday the Magpies had real concerns over the 26-year-old midfielder’s ability to regain full fitness.  

Unveiled by the Blues later on Wednesday with his new playing jumper No.39, Thomas shrugged off his ex-coach’s fears.

“The ankle’s going really well,” said 157-game veteran Thomas.

“I’m running and still rehabbing at the same time, just maintenance along the way.

“With my time at Collingwood, I went and saw all the specialists and I got the same feedback they got and it was passed on to the Carlton footy club.

“I’m not sure why they have those reservations. They’re entitled to their opinions on my ankle.

“Their doctors would have their opinions. All I can go off it how it feels and what I’ve been told.

“So far it feels as good as it ever has. Fingers crossed it holds up and the rest of the body does too.

“I’m pretty confident with the rehabilitation stuff that I can get stuck right into it and get out there in round one.”

Thomas said No.39 was his first number as a junior and he was a fan of former Sydney star forward Warwick Capper.

“Just the way he went about his footy. He didn’t mind taking a high mark,” Thomas said.

“As a young kid coming up seeing a few of his highlights, that’s probably where that came from.

“My shorts are probably a bit bigger than his.”