COLLINGULLIE-Glenfield Park co-captain Jayden Klemke claims he is “100 per cent ready” to make his comeback from a three-week layoff during Saturday’s qualifying final against Ganmain-Grong Grong-Matong.
Klemke sustained a grade one hamstring tear against Coolamon back in round 15 and has fast-tracked his recovery to ensure a starting position against the Lions at Narrandera Sportsground.
“The hamstring’s going really good and I’ll be right to play this weekend,” Klemke said.
“I probably could’ve come back early and played against Narrandera last weekend but I would’ve only been at 80 per cent or so, so we thought it was better to leave it and wait for finals.
“I’ve done a bit of running now and I’m 100 per cent ready to go.”
The dual Jim Quinn medallist has been a dominant figure in the Demons’ star-studded side despite spending a frustrating amount of time on the sidelines this season.
Klemke, 23, battled an ankle injury sustained in June against minor premiers Griffith and missed two weeks before returning to the fold against Leeton-Whitton.
The midfielder’s comeback coincided with a three-game winning streak that ended abruptly at the hands of GGGM last month.
The Demons’ luck then took a further turn for the worse when Klemke was sidelined in the opening minutes of their 55-point win over Coolamon in round 15.
Klemke’s absence was felt in Collingullie-GP’s heartbreaking two-point loss to Griffith a week later but the key centre confident of carrying the momentum of two big wins over Wagga Tigers and Narrandera into the finals.
“I think everyone’s feeling pretty positive at the moment and there’s a good mood around the club. Looking at the finals, we’ve beaten most sides we could be up against so we’ll definitely take some confidence into the weekend,” Klemke said.
The Demons will nevertheless be sweating on the fitness of coach Luke Gestier, who is battling to overcome another injury concern ahead of the qualifying final.
Gestier strained his hamstring late into the first quarter against Narrandera last weekend while Collingullie-GP youngster Sam Macklan also went down with an ankle complaint.
Klemke is taking a positive outlook on his coach’s recovery.
“He’s already seen a physio but I don’t think it’s too bad. He just pulled up a bit sore after the game and we’ll wait to see how it goes,” Klemke said.
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