IT WAS becoming on Sunday that Cam Rayner performed one of the best recreation of his return from a ruptured ACL on the floor he suffered the damage at a bit of over 12 months in the past.
Rayner gathered 20 disposals in opposition to Gold Coast at Metricon Stadium – the third most of his 69-game profession –added a aim and took 5 marks to go together with three clearances in a terrific outing.
He put the priority of enjoying on the venue behind him in a pre-season hit-out in opposition to the Suns, and this time well-and-truly buried it together with his greatest efficiency of 2022 thus far.
Most significantly although, the facility was again for Brisbane’s dynamic 22-year-old, exploding clear of 1 tackler and evading one other in his sensible first-quarter aim.
Rayner additionally leapt strongly to take two overhead marks and was an vital hyperlink in lots of Lions scoring chains.
The half-forward-turn-midfielder has had a robust begin to the season after lacking all of 2021 and instructed AFL.com.au there was loads of room to get higher.
“I feel like I’ve been building and building and building, and finally I’m starting to get a bit more confident out there and trust my body,” Rayner stated.
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“I really feel like I am getting again to my greatest.
“I didn’t want to come out firing straight away, I wanted to build and build until the back end of the year.”
Rayner had a fast chat with opponents Connor Budarick and Jarrod Witts on Sunday – each on the comeback from the identical damage – to see if their experiences had been the identical as his.
He stated all of them had an identical theme – the extra video games you play, the extra constant you may be and the higher you may get.
Rayner nonetheless has a bit of rust, evidenced by lacking two very gettable photographs at aim, however together with his improved endurance and presents with ball-in-hand, is turning into a extra invaluable contributor by the week.
Rayner stated it wasn’t merely the 2 hours on match day that had helped him return although, however additional training to assist perceive his expanded midfield position.
“It’s during the week to be honest,” he stated.
“I’ve put much more work into my footy this yr than I’ve ever earlier than in the course of the week, with tapes, and making an attempt to be taught as a lot as I can with Lachie (Neale) and ‘JL’ (Jarryd Lyons).
“You’ll be able to construct the belief with the fellows within the midfield and really do your factor with out worrying or hesitating about anything.
“I believe that is helped me essentially the most.
“My running has got better, and I feel like I’m covering the ground a lot more, which is helpful.”