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Ward a key cog as Cogs works toward finals

Stephen Coniglio and Callan Ward celebrate a win in 2018 - AFL,GWS Giants,Callan Ward,Stephen Coniglio,Injuries
Stephen Coniglio and Callan Ward celebrate a win in 2018

CALLAN Ward might be the secret weapon Great Western Sydney needs to get Stephen Coniglio back on the field in 2019.

Ward, who ruptured his ACL against Geelong in April and is sidelined for the season, will be a strong ally for his vice-captain, who is on crutches after suffering his own knee injury against Richmond last week.

Coniglio had surgery on a cartilage tear and won't play again this year if the Giants don't play finals, and even if they do make the eight, they might need to make multiple September appearances for the 25-year-old to get back.


The Giants co-captain said he'll do everything in his power to help Coniglio take the field again this season.

"We'll work pretty closely and do plenty of grinding sessions together," he said.

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"It's all pretty new to him and there's only six games left in the season and then finals, so it's going to be hard for him to get back.

"At the same time, he's the type of guy that will do everything he can to get back as quickly as he can."

Coniglio made an appearance at Giants training on Friday and is expected to hit the gym to start his rehabilitation on Monday.

GWS coach Leon Cameron said Coniglio and Ward are two of the club's most committed players, so they'll be a helping hand for each other.

"If anyone is going to return a bit early then it's 'Cogs', because he's got a real appetite for work and he'll attack his rehab really well," he said.

"He'll eat it up, so we've got to make sure his wound heals, and 'Wardy' will drive him, but I think 'Cogs' will drive himself pretty hard as well."

With Coniglio and Ward sidelined, along with fellow star Josh Kelly (calf) and Matt de Boer (shoulder), the Giants midfield has been robbed of a crucial quartet of players ahead of today's clash with Collingwood.

However, Ward is bullish about the onballers they do have in the team, with Tim Taranto and Jacob Hopper in terrific form, and Toby Greene and Lachie Whitfield expected to join the youngsters in the midfield against the Pies.

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"Timmy and 'Hops' are young and haven't played much footy, but I've been really proud of the way they've led this year," Ward said.

"It's a challenging period for us but I have full confidence that we have the boys who can step up.

"Whoever it is, I know they can play a role for us.

"It's always hard when you have injuries to key players, and it is frustrating."

Ward is currently doing a power of gym work on his leg strength and has set himself a goal of running at some stage over the next month.

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