A visit to his hand surgeon will dictate whether Wangaratta Rovers’ favourite son Sean O’Keeffe plays again.
The 36-year-old originally snapped a tendon in his left ring finger in early 2017, but played out the season.
However, he developed a condition called Dupuytren’s contracture, where the finger bends back, almost like a claw.
He had an operation in November, 2017, and another last year.
He’s now waiting to see his surgeon with the prospect of more surgery.
“It’s a bit of a stage process, but it’s getting there,” he said.
O’Keeffe was drafted in 2000, playing six games for Carlton.
He snared two VFL premierships with Sandringham before building an illustrious career with Rovers.
Coach Daryn Cresswell would love the veteran to return.
“I have an enormous amount of respect for Sean O’Keeffe, I just think he’s an absolute genius,” he said.
Like all clubs, Rovers are targeting one-point players, with a handful of former players returning, including Kyle Simpson.
“He’s a six-foot, two (188cm) wingman who can really run,” Cresswell said.
Simpson came through the club’s junior system, playing 13 senior games in 2006-07.
He took last year off after playing for West Preston Lakeside.
Rovers won last year’s thirds flag and Cresswell is particularly excited by the classy Jack Gerrish.
“He’s been super impressive, he’s got some real speed and reminds me of Brad St John (who Cresswell coached during his four-year stint at Wodonga Raiders),” he said.
Rovers have been extremely active, signing a number of VFL representatives as ‘home’ players – such as ex-Gold Coast Sun Max Spencer – who will play for the Hawks if commitments allow.
“There’s a bit of a buzz and it’s a good place to be,” Cresswell said.
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There’s a bit of a buzz and it’s a good place to be.Daryn Cresswell