Sun shines bright for Bock

Written By Unknown on Rabu, 02 Januari 2013 | 14.43

Gold Coast Suns defender Nathan Bock participates in a light pool session with his teammates. Picture: Brendan Radke Source: Gold Coast Bulletin

GOLD Coast vice-captain Nathan Bock has opened up about his year from hell, after waving 2012 away with a sense of relief.

Plenty of people welcomed in the new year with a sense of excitement last night but none more than Bock, who declared 2012 the toughest year he's had in footy.

It started with a two-week suspension stemming from a betting scandal the year before but the worst was yet to come as a broken leg and the jailing of his mother, Michelle Joy Bock, for drug trafficking, wrecked his season on and off the field.

The 29-year-old was candid about his year from hell, conceding the off-field issues with his mother took their toll.

"I'm happy to put this year in the back of the mind and concentrate on 2013,'' Bock said. "It was obviously pretty draining and it was frustrating at the start of the season to miss those two games because of the suspension.

"Then I felt like it took me a few weeks to get into form and the game I really felt the best was the one against Fremantle when I ended up breaking my leg.

"Then obviously the stuff with mum had been dragging on for a little while as well and the year was mentally quite challenging and physically very challenging.

"It was probably the toughest year I've had in footy.''

The former Crows defender is looking on the bright side though and believes his leg injury may even help extend his AFL career.

"That's one thought Bluey (Guy McKenna) has and it would be nice to play for as long as I possibly could,'' Bock said.

"I suppose you've got to look at all the positives and (the time I spent out) most of last season potentially could be put on the end of my career.

"I'll be 30 (this) year and most guys say if you can play until you are 32 or 33 then that is a great result.''

And the early signs in Bock's comeback are positive.

The veteran is a month ahead of schedule in his rehab and even began running last month.

"Initially I hadn't planned to start running until about Christmas but I've been running for about four or five weeks now,'' Bock said.

"Initially it just started with a five-minute jog on the AlterG treadmill, which takes a percentage of your body weight away when you run.

"I was building up on that for a few weeks and then just recently I had a couple of runs outside.

"But it's only been a few strides and it's still only a very slow jog.''

With his progress in mind, Bock is hopeful of joining the Suns' main training group by mid-February.

And the versatile tall still holds hope of striding out on to  Metricon Stadium in the Suns' season opener against St Kilda on March 30.

"I saw the surgeon just before Christmas and he was happy with the progress we're making,'' Bock added.

"I would like to think Round 1 is a realistic possibility but we will just have to play it by ear.

"You have a bit of a time frame to when you are back training at full intensity with injuries like an ACL.

"But this injury is a lot different and it just depends on how it feels and how it is progressing.''

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