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Veteran Pie set to play on after comeback

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TYSON Goldsack's remarkably fast return from a March knee reconstruction looks set to extend into 2019 with the Collingwood defender poised to sign a contract extension with the club.  

The 31-year-old is yet to officially ink a new deal to take him into a 13th season but says confirmation looms with both parties on the same page.

"There's nothing concrete but I've said I want to play on and the club have stipulated they're pretty keen for me to go around again," Goldsack said on Wednesday.

"That's about as far as it's gone … we've had a little bit on our plate the last couple of weeks, so contract talks have kind of been not prioritised. 

"We'll pick that up again soon and hopefully work something out, but I'm nice and fresh, I haven't played all year, so I'm pretty keen to go around again." 

Goldsack had his left knee reconstructed on March 22, 12 days after his anterior cruciate ligament failed in a pre-season match in Moe. 

He defied all odds to return to the field on August 25 in the first of two VFL hit-outs before he was an impressive member of the Pies' backline against West Coast on Saturday night. 

However, he said he was confident he would have been retained for another season even if he hadn't made it back to the field in 2018. 

"We spoke about it before I came back, they were keen to see me go again and I was keen to play again," he said.

"Depending on how I attacked the rehab process that may have swayed their way of thinking, but the way I've come back and my intention to come and play, I guess carries a bit of weight." 

 

Goldsack's reconstruction used a quadricep tendon rather than the traditional hamstring tendon graft, which he said allowed for a quicker return to running.

He decided as soon as he'd had the operation he wanted to try and get back in 2018 and wanted to be "aggressive" given his age and position in the game.

After being given the thumbs up to try by surgeon Dr Julian Feller 10 weeks after his operation, he made a definitive call while on a June European holiday with his young family.  

He also said he chose not to buy into the speculative risks associated with such a speedy return.

"There's a Norwegian paper that says at nine months after an ACL reconstruction, your chances of further knee injury are significantly lower and every month after that it halves, but that just talks about not just re-rupturing the ACL, it talks about further knee damage," he said.

"That could be anything and the studies are often done on 50-year-old men and women and not elite athletes. 

"It's hard, there's no actual evidence for elite athletes because no one is willing to put themselves in a position like this just to get data out of … no one knows the actual percentage of the risk we're taking." 

Goldsack would rather focus on the mental side of his recovery, his belief in himself, and how he's actually feeling rather than go by suggested numbers.  

"There is a study they're conducting that is to say that mentally, if you feel out of form and you are honest about it and you score a certain mark, that goes a long way to proving that your knee is right to go, there must be some kind of connection mentally with physically," he said.  

"That's carrying a lot more weight than it used to. 

"But internally, I feel good, I feel strong, my knee feels great and now that we're three games in, hopefully there's no stopping us."

With the Pies in the finals for the first time since 2013, there was plenty for Goldsack to want to come back for and not just in this season.  

While his teammates have been vocal on what his inclusion has meant to them, he says it's meant just as much to him.  

"The guys spoke about it last week, like 'It's so good to have [Adam] Treloar, 'Howey' [Jeremy Howe] and me back as well', but it's actually the complete opposite," he said.

"It's a privilege for us to come back and play in a team like this this year.  

"We've built something pretty strong and it's something that can go on to 2019. 

"Hopefully 2019 is on the back of a really good 2018."