McStay hopes to return from knee injury this AFL season

Roger VaughanAAP
Fortune might finally be smiling on luckless Collingwood forward Daniel McStay (3-l). (Joel Carrett/AAP PHOTOS)
Camera IconFortune might finally be smiling on luckless Collingwood forward Daniel McStay (3-l). (Joel Carrett/AAP PHOTOS) Credit: AAP

Fortune might finally be turning for luckless Collingwood forward Daniel McStay as he recovers from his knee reconstruction.

But as McStay holds out hope of playing in the AFL this year, St Kilda's two-time All-Australian Jack Sinclair is less sure in the short term about when he will be back from a calf muscle injury.

Sinclair is unsure whether he will recover in time for their season opener on March 16 against Geelong, but hopes to be ready for the round-two Thursday night clash against premiers Collingwood at the MCG.

McStay and Sinclair were at St Kilda's Moorabbin headquarters on Tuesday to promote the round-two clash, which will be the annual "Spud's Game" in honour of late Saints star Danny Frawley.

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After McStay missed the Magpies' grand-final win over Brisbane because of a knee injury, he ruptured an ACL in November during pre-season training.

Recovery from a knee reconstruction can take 12 months, but McStay is back running and says his progress is solid.

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"It's been a little bit of an up-and-down battle, the last three months," McStay said.

"We're not really working towards time frames at the moment. We're ticking off each part as it comes.

"Speaking with (the Collingwood) staff, they seem really confident I will play some footy this year. Obviously you need a lot of luck on your side and you can't have any setbacks.

"But the way I've been tracking and the work I've been putting in, it's given me a fair bit of hope."

Given McStay's AFL setbacks over the last few months, he is having no trouble staying focused.

"There's been a fair bit of motivation the last few months, in terms of a lot of things - obviously missing out on the grand final," he said.

Meanwhile, Sinclair is sitting out St Kilda's two pre-season fixtures as he recovers from his calf injury.

He said a scan on Wednesday would give a clearer picture on when he might return.

"I'm tracking well so far ... it's still early days, a bit to work through," he said.

Sinclair also noted there is a five-day break between the Cats and Collingwood game, probably making it less likely he would play in round one.

Teammate Hunter Clark definitely appears to be no chance for the start of the season after he also injured a calf muscle at Monday training, sidelining him for four to six weeks.

Marcus Windhager needed surgery on the hand fracture he suffered in last week's pre-season win over Essendon, making him another doubtful Saints player for round one.

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