ECHUCA'S Ollie Wines is continuing to push for a return to AFL football when games resume.
The Port Adelaide vice-captain required surgery on his shoulder during the off-season, causing him to miss round one.
However, with COVID-19 causing the season to be delayed until the middle of June, Wines is now a chance to miss very little football with the injury.
Speaking to media in Adelaide last week, Wines said the shoulder had recovered well, though he admits some hurdles remain.
“(The shoulder) is really strong,” he said.
“It's just more so a mental thing I think. Taking contact and having to reach for people, it's sort of more in the head than in the shoulder joint.
“I'm going to be a bit reluctant at first but I've got to get that session out of the way. Once I get those first couple of bumps and tackles out of the way it will be all on.”
And he will do so by focusing on football, with a return for round two's Showdown with the Adelaide Crows very much on the cards.
“I think I will be fully fit by then,” he said.
“I've got to get through a few training sessions as of now but I've got my sights set on being available for selection.
“It's our biggest rivalry of our season and we to stay in SA to do it.”
Wines will be looking to put a difficult 18 months behind him, which has seen not only two major shoulder injuries, but also saw his name linked with a move back to Victoria during trade week.
Despite the rumours, Wines has made it absolutely clear he was happy at Alberton.
“I leave that up to my management team to take care of,” Wines said.
“He may know something I don't, but as far as I'm concerned I'm here at Port Adelaide, I've got a further two years on my contract and I'm really excited by what this list can achieve.”