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Wounded Giant gun flies onto the bench for crucial MCG match

CALLAN Ward will take a significant step in his recovery from a knee reconstruction when he travels with his Greater Western Sydney teammates for Sunday’s clash with Melbourne at the MCG.

Ward, the Giants co-captain who tore the ACL in his left knee against Geelong in round four at GMHBA Stadium and had season-ending surgery shortly afterwards, will assist senior coach Leon Cameron on the interchange bench in a massive game for the club.

Callan Ward has been assisted from the field after twisting awkwardly in this contest.#AFLCatsGiants pic.twitter.com/xfJhO9IbP5

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The 29-year-old performed the role for the first time during his side’s 93-point win over Carlton at Giants Stadium on Sunday but has been forced to wait for the swelling in his knee to subside before he could help out on road trips.

Ward told AFL.com.au that being able to be part of the Giants coaching team, especially on matchdays, would be a major boost for him during his rehabilitation.

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He’s also hopeful his 217 games of experience can be of benefit to his teammates.

“Being on the bench I can see things better than the coaches can from up in the box, so I can pick out a few things that they haven’t been able to see from up there,” he said.

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“When the players come off I can give them feedback straight away instead of having to wait until quarter-time or half-time.

“My eyes will be on the midfielders and I’ll be working out ways we can play better as a midfield group.

“During the week I’ve been working with the midfield group and just trying to lend some support to a few of the younger players.”

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Ward has been restricted to riding a bike, gym exercises and physiotherapy so far in his recovery, but is expected to increase his intensity and incorporate leg weights to build up his strength in the next few weeks.

He’s hopeful he can be running by late June if all goes to plan but has plenty of pursuits outside of football to keep him busy and distracted until then.

The Giants’ inaugural club champion graduated with a diploma in building construction just before he suffered his injury against the Cats and has organised to do some work experience with a club sponsor.

He’s also recently purchased an apartment in Bondi and has plans to renovate the space with his wife Ruby over the next few months.

A fierce competitor on the field and one of the game’s most respected leaders, Ward seems the kind of player who would hate being forced to watch his team play.

But he said, surprisingly, he had remained relatively calm over the past few weeks.

“I’m actually a better watcher than you’d think,” he said with a laugh.

“I thought I’d be really bad at it, but I’ve been pretty good, especially when the team is playing well.”

Source: AFL FOOTBALL NEWS