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Injury-plagued Cats speedster sidelined yet again

Nakia Cockatoo has suffered yet another injury setback - AFL,Geelong Cats,Exclusive,Nakia Cockatoo,Injuries,Chris Scott
Nakia Cockatoo has suffered yet another injury setback

LUCKLESS Geelong speedster Nakia Cockatoo has suffered a further complication in his bid for an early 2019 return.

The 22-year-old, who endured back-to-back knee surgeries last year, succumbed to adductor and hamstring tightness at training this week.

While the Cats are hopeful it won't be a major setback, Cockatoo will miss the AFLPA Indigenous All Stars summit starting on Sunday in Adelaide. 

It comes after a modified pre-season where Cockatoo cut his Christmas leave period short for extra training, had his tonsils removed and suffered a spider bite on holidays. 

"He had some adductor soreness, and he does have a slight issue that will keep him out of the indigenous camp which starts on Sunday," Cats coach Chris Scott told AFL.com.au.

"He's had such a cautious and thorough rehab from his knees, the procedure he had on his knee did involve some hamstring grafting. 

"They're almost simultaneous rehabs, we need to be careful with his hamstring history as well. 

"If you come down next week you'll see him moving pretty well. 

"(It's) days, not weeks, but it's enough for him to miss the indigenous camp."

Cockatoo lasted just 10 minutes in his VFL comeback game in July last year before suffering a recurrence of a PCL injury he first sustained in round three. 

It added to his long list of injury woes that includes three separate hamstring injuries in the space of 11 weeks in 2017.

Drafted at pick No.10 in the 2014 NAB AFL Draft, Cockatoo has played 34 games and is set to fall out of contract at season's end.

Scott was also hopeful Zach Tuohy would be in the mix for the season opener against Collingwood on March 22.

Confined to cross-training in recent weeks following post-season knee surgery, Tuohy's 138-game streak remains in doubt as he attempts to build his running base. 

"The intention for him is to play round one," Scott said.

"He's played about a million games in a row now and I think that streak's pretty important to him.

"He's never let us down when he said he'd come up from injuries, but this one's a little bit more serious. I'm outlining his wishes, my view is whether it's round one or two it doesn't matter. 

"It depends how he's running. We don't have a fixed mindset in that decision making. 

"The pleasing sign at the moment is that, at least according to Zach, what he was feeling as the issue isn't there at the moment."

Sam Menegola is also on the comeback trail from a knee cleanout and has been training away from the main group clocking heavy running sessions.  

"It's been a bit of a slow one but one thing in Sam's favour is that he's just an elite aerobic athlete," Scott said.

"We need to see how he moves, but some of the conditioning work he's done, and the numbers show, that leads us to believe he's in good shape.

"It just depends on how quickly he picks up the change of direction and footy stuff." 

Scott also revealed Ryan Abbott and Zac Smith had enjoyed full training this week after back injuries to start the summer.

Small forward Lachie Fogarty remains in the rehab group after being sent for hip surgery last week that will rule him out of round one.