The Geelong Cats are expressing confidence that they can have Stewart Crameri back in full training by the end of January, despite the interrupted preparation to the mature-age rookie.

They would like to get him some time on ground for the JLT Community Series.

Crameri has played senior footy for the Western Bulldogs and the Essendon Bombers, 99 games combined. He has been a reliable source of at least 30 goals per season and carries a 1.68 goals per game average to the Cats.

Cats’ Coach Chris Scott acknowledged that it would be a question of patience in slowly building Stewart back from a serious hip injury that he encountered in his las season at the Bulldogs, which resulted in his getting to play in only two games.

According to the AFL’s official website, Scott said, “He’s still a little bit delayed and we knew that and we knew we had to careful with him once we took him. He had both hips done during the year and it got to the point where it looked like he wasn’t going to play so that (the surgeries) delayed him a bit further.”

At this point, Crameri seems nearly recovered, but as anyone might expect of a player with two hip surgeries, his long kicking is not back to the level that he displayed in the past.

The Cats report that Crameri will most likely not participate in the trial of the short format AFLX in February. The Cats have their first game in the JLT Community Series in early March and that is when they expect to get him some ground time ahead of the 2018 Toyota Premiership competition.

Crameri was one that missed all of 2016 for his involvement with the 2012 Essendon Bombers drug scandal, so he will have to shake off more than a little rust before he gets back to his old self.