Goldsack has nerves before AFL return

Roger Vaughan
Defender Tyson Goldsack admits he is nervous leading up to Collingwood's two AFL pre-season games

Tyson Goldsack is edgy ahead of Collingwood's two AFL pre-season matches.

What should be regulation hit-outs against Fremantle and Carlton will carry added meaning for the Magpies' key defender, given what had happened a year ago.

Goldsack was playing a pre-season game against the Western Bulldogs in Moe last March when he left the field, thinking he had jarred his knee.

The innocuous incident barely rated a mention, post-match.

Two days later, the club doctor sat him down with devastating news - Goldsack would need a season-ending knee reconstruction.

Goldsack defied predictions to make a crucial late-season contribution, returning for Collingwood's last four matches and playing in the grand final loss to West Coast.

But coming up to a year later, Goldsack wants no repeat of that pre-season disaster.

"I'd be lying if I said I wasn't (nervous), yeah," Goldsack said.

"I'm excited - I want to play it, whether it's just to get over that hurdle.

"I was nervous to play again last year, but you just have to do it. There's a carrot at the end of it, so you have to put yourself in these uncomfortable positions."

Goldsack became a case study in how quickly a player could return from a "reco".

Normally a nine-month process at least, Goldsack reduced that to less than six.

"I was obsessive - it became that I needed to know everything there is to know about what other people have done or what speeds up the process," he said.

While the grand final loss stung, Goldsack was proud to made it back so quickly.

"It was a good year - a s*** finish, but a good year," he said.

"It took a while to get over the heartbreak of the grand final, to then be able to reflect on the whole.

"But to get back in the team, it was good."