Geelong forward Daniel Menzel’s luckless run with injury has continued, with the AFL club ruling out a return this season.
Menzel is still experiencing tendinitis resulting from a fourth knee reconstruction.
Geelong’s general manager of football Neil Balme said on Wednesday the 22-year-old would be put on ice until 2015.
“After meeting with specialists it has been determined he will not play this season,” Balme said.
“The reconstruction is progressing well. Part of Dan’s patella tendon was used in the graft and this is the area that is causing the problems.
“We are looking at the long term here, so there is no point rushing Dan’s return.”
Balme said the club’s medical team is confident Menzel will be ready for their next pre-season.
Menzel visited specialist Bill Knowles in the US last November, walking away with hopes of playing in June this year and being match fit in time for the AFL finals.
Menzel has not played an AFL match since rupturing his right anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) in Geelong’s 2011 qualifying final win over Hawthorn.
In his VFL return the following year, Menzel ruptured his left ACL.
He has re-torn his left ACL twice since.
Meanwhile, Cats spearhead Tom Hawkins is upbeat the back woes that made for a frustrating stop-start campaign last year are a thing of the past.
Hawkins has rediscovered form and fitness after being restricted for much of the 2013 season, and doesn’t expect he will need a week off until the split round in mid-July.
“It’s feeling good,” he said.
“It’s something I’m always going to have to keep on top of (with) … a daily routine of exercises.
“I don’t feel I’m at that age where I need a break yet, so I’m planning to play them all.”
Hawkins has kicked 21 goals to be fifth in the Coleman Medal race, but said accuracy in front of the posts was something he and his teammates need to work on.
“We’ve been really poor at kicking for goal,” Hawkins said.
“We haven’t finished off our work.
“At times we can get a little bit lazy with our execution … we need to improve on it.”
The 25-year-old said the Cats would be ready for Friday night’s clash with North Melbourne, which comes six days after a 32-point loss to Fremantle in Perth.
“It probably doesn’t make it easy (the quick turnaround after playing in Perth), but we’ve got a routine that we think works,” Hawkins said.