Collingullie-Glenfield Park co-captain Jayden Klemke is confident he will be fit and firing for the Demons’ Riverina League finals campaign.
Klemke injured his hamstring in the opening minute of last Saturday’s win over Coolamon and has since learnt he has a grade one tear.
The dual Jim Quinn Medallist expects to miss the final three games of the home and away season but will return for Collingullie-GP’s qualifying final on September 1.
“It will be about three weeks, which is not too bad,” Klemke said.
“I’ll be back for the first final, I reckon. I could come back and play half a game in the last round but I don’t really want to risk it coming back too early.”
The timing of Klemke’s injury is not ideal. Not only are the Demons heading into the business end of the season, but they host Griffith in a top of the table clash at Crossroads Oval on Saturday.
The Demons will also lose key defender Joe Byrnes to a hamstring injury, who like Klemke, is aiming to be back for the first week of finals.
To make matters worse, co-captain Nick Perryman will front the AFL Riverina independent tribunal on Thursday night on a striking charge.
The hamstring problem is the latest setback in a season of injuries for Klemke.
He tore both calves barefoot water skiing during the pre-season and then missed a couple of games mid-season with an ankle injury.
Klemke believes the time off leading into finals could be a blessing in disguise.
“I’m going to do everything to be 100 per cent and get my body right,” he said.
“I’m still having trouble with my ankle and although it’s not ideal to be injured, it will be good to freshen the body before finals.”
Collingullie-GP coach Luke Gestier said they won’t take any risks with injured players over the final three rounds.
“Anyone with injuries we’re going to play on the safer side to get them back in for finals,” he said.
The Demons will welcome young gun Blake Harper back from injury on Saturday, while Tom Byrnes is another player that is not expected back until finals as he recovers from a knee injury.
The Demons close the home and away season with games against Wagga Tigers and Narrandera.