Collingwood recruit Patrick Karnezis says he is just relieved to be back playing again after an on-going battle with osteitis pubis stemming from his last season at the Brisbane Lions.
The 21-year-old made his return in the VFL on Saturday against Coburg, starring with three goals in the first half on limited game time as the Pies won by 44 points.
"I only got about three quarters. I wanted to stay out but they wouldn't let me," Karnezis said. "I'm rapt, it's exciting to come back I just wanted to get out and play."
Karnezis said he feels more comfortable back in his home state, which has made rehabilitation at his new club much more bearable.
Karnezis, one of three experienced recruits acquired through the trade period last year along with Jesse White and Taylor Adams, was put on light duties for much of the pre-season to help him overcome the groin condition.
He managed just three matches last season for the Lions to take his career tally to 21. He now hopes to get more continuity into his body over the next month in the VFL before making his senior debut as a Pie. "I've missed about seven months so I'll hopefully spend four weeks or whatever [in the VFL] just to get game time up," he said.
Pies VFL coach Dale Tapping said the club was rapt to have him back in action. "It's really good to have him back. He's worked really hard," Tapping said. "I think everyone's really happy for him to be back playing footy. You saw elements of his talent today."
Nathan Brown also made his return from a shoulder injury and although he didn't have much impact on the game, Tapping said he was ready to return for Friday's Anzac Day clash against Essendon if required.
"Browny just had his job to do today as that sort of big key defender and did that really well,'' Tapping said.
■ Richmond suffered a blow with midfielder Nathan Foley suffering a calf injury in the first half of the 70-point loss to Williamstown at Burbank Oval.
Foley, who will have scans to determine the extent of the damage, managed just the six disposals before the injury.
Out-of-form forward Tyrone Vickery had 14 disposals, six marks and kicked a goal but struggled with the poor delivery inside 50, according to Tigers VFL coach Tim Clarke.
■ St Kilda defender Sam Fisher made a successful return from injury with 20 disposals for Sandringham against North Ballarat.