NEVILLE Jetta hasn’t played senior footy since Round 5, but after a solid hit-out at Gosch’s Paddock on Thursday morning, he is ready to make a return.
The 29-year-old had surgery on his knee after Melbourne’s loss to St Kilda earlier in the season, and after a lengthy recovery, he enjoyed an uniterrupted session with the main group.
“It’s good to be back out there with the boys, it’s been a long 10 weeks in rehab,” Jetta told Melbourne Media.
“To be able to be out there enjoying playing footy again obviously changes my mood but I also get to be around the boys as well.”
It’s undoubtedly been a tough year for Jetta who hasn’t had any continuity in his game after stepping into a role as vice-captain over the off-season.
“Obviously injuries are frustrating and being a leader of the team, but not being able to be out there and help and lead by example, has been definitely frustrating,” he said.
“But I’ve just been trying to help the boys in every way I can off-field and provide constant communication to see how they’re tracking and try to help them perform their role on game day.”
After a lengthy stint on the sidelines, the small defender embraced the opportunity to return via the Casey Demons last weekend, playing three quarters of footy in the VFL on Saturday.
“That was part of my end of rehab plan – get a few [kilometres] in of match fitness and also some running with our fitness staff,” Jetta said.
“It was a big session – I got through no worries and pulled up OK and got through today.
“I’ll put my hand up as available, whether that’s at VFL level or AFL level, I’m ready to go and looking forward to playing a full game this week.”
Jetta is a chance to line up alongside both Steven May and Jake Lever for the first time this weekend, with the new-look Demons defence finally set to combine.
“They’re really good players and when in-form their best is some of the best in the competition,” Jetta said.
“We want to see them playing at their strengths but really playing their role to help our team.”
In other news from the training track, Max Gawn (ankle) and Harry Petty (concussion) both took part in the main drills and should be available for selection.