GEELONG defender Tom Lonergan has offered support and advice to injured teammate Jackson Thurlow, as he recovers from a lacerated kidney he sustained in a training accident just before Christmas.
Thurlow suffered the injury when he copped an accidental elbow to his kidney during a training drill in late December.
Scans revealed a tear to the outer part of the kidney, but unlike Lonergan, the 20-year-old avoided surgery and spent just a little less than a week in hospital before being sent home to Tasmania to recuperate.
Geelong is all too familiar with kidney injuries with Lonergan seriously injured in a sickening on-field collision with Melbourne's Brad Miller in 2006.
He spent four days in an induced coma and lost a kidney, and didn't return to competitive football until 10 months after the accident.
Knowing all too well what Thurlow would be going through, Lonergan immediately offered his support to his teammate.
"Doms (Lonergan) sent me a text through and just said if I have any questions about it to ask him," Thurlow told Geelong's website from his family's home in Launceston.
"Once I get back to Geelong, I think I'll sit down with him and have a good chat."
A return date to training has not yet been set for Thurlow but the Cats expect his recovery to take another four to six weeks.
The versatile youngster, who has been touted as a potential replacement for Allen Christensen or Travis Varcoe through the midfield, is determined not to let this "minor hiccup" derail his 2015 season.
"My pre-season was going really well early," Thurlow said.
"I'm viewing this as a minor hiccup and when I'm cleared to return to training it will be full steam ahead.
"It's good being home with the family but I'm ready to get back now.
"I feel alright doing normal day to day activities but not yet the exertion of being a footballer.
"I have to be careful at the moment because when I push myself I can get a bit sore."
Thurlow said he was shocked to discover the extent of the damage following the innocuous incident.
Initially believing he was winded, Thurlow sat down on the Simonds Stadium turf but when he was unable to stand, club doctor Drew Slimmon immediately recognised something more serious had occurred.
"Darcy Lang actually sent me the footage when I was in hospital and watching it there was really nothing in it," Thurlow said.
"The movement I did I've done hundreds of times before, but it just happened that I copped a stray elbow in the wrong spot this time.
"After about a minute I started throwing up and luckily the doctors were right on the scene. I was given a green whistle to deal with the pain but it wasn’t doing anything so they immediately took me for scans."
Thurlow has played 10 games in two seasons for Geelong after being selected with pick No. 16 in the 2012 NAB AFL Draft.