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Year-long layoff: Bock takes first steps back

Michael Whiting  May 27, 2013 8:15 PM

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Nathan Bock will play his first game in more than a year this weekend

It's been a long time coming for him
AFTER more than 12 months out of the game, Nathan Bock will make his return to football this weekend.

Bock will line up for the Suns' reserves in the NEAFL against the Brisbane Lions seconds at Coorparooo on Saturday.

It will be the 30-year-old's first game since breaking his leg in round six last year against Fremantle.

Bock originally hoped to return for round one this season, but the rod inserted into his right leg did not settle as quickly as expected.

"It's been a long time coming for him," Gold Coast general manager of football Marcus Ashcroft told AFL.com.au.

"When you do an injury of that significance, you don't know when you're going to come back. We had 12 months in mind. 

"The way Bocky plays, and it being where it was in his leg and the rod being the size it was, we had to be very cautious because he's a fairly important player to our team."

Bock will play half a game and is expected to take a number of weeks to regain match fitness and confidence to play in the seniors.

Ashcroft said it had been a huge mental and physical hurdle for the vice-captain to overcome.

"Having seen it for myself with Michael Voss (at the Lions in 1998), they are really significant injuries and you have to be really careful in the rehabilitation of it so when you do come back you're fit to play footy," he said. 

"He's missed a bit of footy so his body hasn't been worked over the last year-and-a-half. 

"He was playing good footy when he went out and there's no reason he can't come back and play the same sort of footy when he comes back."

Michael Whiting covers Gold Coast news for AFL.com.au. Follow him on Twitter: @AFL_mikewhiting