Matt Arnot’s back on track

Matt Arnot

Emerging Richmond midfielder Matt Arnot is finally reaching the end of a six-month rehabilitation process from a back injury.

The 20-year-old is only a few weeks away from joining the main training group, after recovering from a stress fracture in his back.

The injury, suffered late last season, forced Arnot into four months of complete rest before he started the long road back to full fitness.

“You basically start from step one.  I’m probably in the midst of doing my pre-season now,” Arnot told Roar Vision.

While the boys are fine-tuning their skills out on the footy field, I’m gut-running and getting my body physically able to be able to compete at the” highest level.”

Arnot’s back injury is similar in nature to those suffered by cricket fast bowlers, and led he and the Tigers’ fitness staff to consult the Australian cricket team’s physiotherapists.

In the end, it was a battle of both the body and the mind.

“I had a bit of down time, which was good.  I did a few other hobbies that I wanted to do,” Arnot said.

“You go from such and active person and having a very active lifestyle, do doing absolutely nothing.

“The physios aren’t there the whole time.  Nobody’s there watching you when you want to go for a walk or bend down to do whatever.

“You have to be very, very strict on yourself, and tell yourself to sit it out.

“It was really hard when two months into it, it wasn’t hurting, but I still couldn’t do anything.  That was a bit tedious.”

The lure of being fit for Round 1 of the 2014 is a tempting proposition, but Arnot has formed a longer term view.

“My goal for this year is to finish off the season.  I think that’s a better goal to have compared to starting off the season with a bang and always being in and out of rehab,” he said.

“I want to give myself a complete opportunity to play consistent footy at the highest level.”

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