STAR Greater Western Sydney forward Jeremy Cameron admits his lengthy suspension for striking Brisbane's Harris Andrews earlier this season is in his head whenever he steps onto the field.
The Giant was banned for five games after his clash with Andrews at the Gabba in round 14 left the Lions defender with bleeding on the brain and concussion.
Andrews missed four games as he recovered from the brutal hit, which came as he ran back with the flight of the ball and was collected by Cameron's elbow.
Cameron said he didn't think the incident had affected his ability to play his best footy, but did reveal that navigating his way back into senior footy over the past month had been a challenge.
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"My role in the side is to create a contest and go for my marks, and it's a fine line, especially because you have bodies coming back at you from all sorts of different angles," he said.
"That's the hardest part because the guys in our game are so courageous, and it can be quite dangerous at times.
"I'm still going to attack the ball the way I've learnt but I need to think my way through it a lot more and be wary of what I can and can't do.
"I've had some big knocks and body-on-body hits since (returning from the suspension), but it happens so quick.
"I've learnt a lot over my journey so far and I'm sure I'll continue to learn more in the future."
Cameron looked on track for a career-best season until he was suspended, but still managed 43 goals from his 16 games this season.
He booted four goals in his return game against Carlton in round at Etihad Stadium, a match the Giants won by 105 points.
It was during that game that Cameron said he realised how much the Andrews incident had affected him.
"One of the boys kicked a 'chaos' ball inside 50, which are the ones hardest to read (in the air), and I picked up quite early that it was going to drop short," he said.
"There was a Carlton guy in front of me, so I went quite hard at him, but I slowed up as I got the contest because I think I had it in the back of my mind, and he actually marked it.
"It didn't matter too much because we were well on top, but when you look at the game on the Monday and review it, he out-marked me, and if I'd gone harder I could have brought it to ground for sure.
"If it was a game we didn't win by 100 points, like say the final next week against Sydney, I have to do everything possible to get it to ground.
"The line is so tight and there's a lot of grey area, but I've got to make decisions on the spot and that's an area I'm trying to improve."
Cameron came in for some stinging criticism from Fox Footy expert and former Melbourne champion Garry Lyon on Monday, who slammed the Giants' six-time leading goalkicker for the way he attacked two particular contests against Melbourne last week and accused him of taking his eyes off the footy.
The GWS forward said he wasn't aware of the negative comments directed his way, but said contests at ground level were just as difficult to judge as the ones in the air.
"Those 50/50 balls can be massive and there's always those moments in big games," he said.
"It could be (a contest with) Cal Ward and Josh Kennedy going for a ground ball late in the third quarter, and 'Wardy' throws his body in and somehow gets it out to Dylan Shiel who kicks a goal, and that's the turning point (of the game).
"That's the tough part, sometimes I look at a ball and think 'if I go now, I can make it', whereas some guys might hold back.
"That's when things can get ugly because if I'm half a second off, I don't quite make it, and if he picks up the ball and I hit him in the head, it's game over."