Adam Goodes is confident of finally returning to football in round one this year in what may be his final AFL season.
A knee injury wrecked much of Goodes’ 2013 but the Sydney Swans captain says time away from the game has left him mentally and physically fresh heading into his 16th season of senior football.
The newly crowned Australian of the Year began running late last month and says he is on course for return in the Swans opening game of the season against cross-town rivals Greater Western Sydney on March 15.
He last played in round 13 against Port Adelaide in June.
“It is all going fantastically well, I have been running for the last five weeks now,” Goodes said.
“I am really keen to get out there and do some skills with the players, it seems so, so long since I have done that.
“I am feeling really fit and just looking forward to going on camp with the boys to Coffs Harbour and the next week or two I should be out there doing some skills.
“Round one is a long way away but I am better off than I was 12 months ago. At this stage I am much better off than I was compared to last year.
“l should play two pre-season games this year and I didn’t do that last year.”
Goodes said this AFL season could be his last but the 34-year-old won’t make a decision on possible retirement until much later in the year.
“I have had discussions with the club and we have decided we will wait until the end of the year to talk about contracts,“ Goodes said.
“There is nothing to worry about there. It means I can just focus on my body and hopefully play out a healthy season.
“We can have that conversation at the end of the year.
“You should approach every season as though it is your last, that’s how you keep driving yourself.”