Hawk Anderson back after battle with pneumonia



Exciting Hawthorn speedster Jed Anderson will return from a rough battle with pneumonia and play his first game of the pre-season for the Box Hill Hawks in the VFL on Saturday.


Anderson, who just missed out on being selected for Hawthorn’s premiership win last year, was forced to spend time in hospital and back home in the Northern Territory because of his condition, which began in November.


Hawks development coach Marco Bello, the new coach of Hawthorn’s affiliate Box Hill, said Anderson was back to full fitness after testing his body in a couple of intra-club matches. “He’s played in some intra-club matches and he’s ready to go,” he said.


Bello said Anderson had plenty of motivation heading into the 2014 season after being close to playing in an AFL flag last year. “He’s one of a number of guys who won’t be lacking any motivation … there were a lot of hard-luck stories last year in both the AFL and the VFL.”


Anderson played six games last season – although he battled niggling injuries – and sprang onto the scene with a dominant round-three performance netting a Rising Star nomination.


Anderson said that despite what is expected to be a slow start to his bid to push for a senior recall, he was keen to become a consistent senior player this year.


“My body feels a lot stronger and it’s able to handle a lot more work. I’ve done probably about the same amount in just this pre-season to what I did last year. I’m pushing that extra little bit to get a bit more out of myself and feel stronger. I feel now like I was towards the end of last year, but hopefully, with a few games coming up, I can get a bit more fitness and get that feel again.


“I’m looking forward to this season – I really want to push for top selection and dig deep within myself to get there. Coming off last year and playing as well as I did, I want to take that into the games coming up and, hopefully, it all takes care of itself.”


Other Hawks – including Alex Woodward and Billy Hartung, who were so impressive during pre-season practice matches – will also be pushing to make their senior AFL debuts with top performances for Box Hill against Williamstown.


Meanwhile, Geelong midfielder George Burbury will return from a fractured jaw for the Cats’ VFL team in a practice match against Footscray on Saturday.

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