SIX months on from a knee reconstruction, St Kilda youngster Daniel Markworth is tracking ahead of schedule in his recovery.
After being selected by St Kilda at pick 35 in the 2011 National Draft, the agile half-forward flanker performed strongly at VFL level last year. He appeared on track to debut for St Kilda in 2013 before rupturing his anterior cruciate ligament last December.
Markworth has had a difficult six months, but is beginning to see the light at the end of the tunnel.
“I’m up to running, kicking, doing some agility, so it’s all going really well. I should be back training soon,” says the 21-year-old.
In some respects, the journey has gone quickly.
“A month ago from today I was basically just doing fitness work,” explains Markworth. He’s now in the process of adapting to a constantly-increasing workload.
“It steps up every session,” says Markworth. “Every session is a little bit different, a little bit more difficult.
One of the most rewarding steps in the process for the 189-centimetre Saint has been the opportunity to finally get back to basics.
“I’m also doing some kicking, so I feel like a footballer again, which is good,” Markworth says with a smile.
It’s clear the rehabilitation process has been testing on him from a mental perspective.
“I wasn’t a very patient person before the injury. I had to develop (patience), I had no choice.”
His injury – and subsequent rehabilitation – has also forced Markworth to constantly find new ways to motivate himself.
“At training you get little wins all the time; in rehab, you’ve got to make your own wins… I set goals day to day about what I want to achieve.”
Markworth will be happy to embrace a change of scenery in coming weeks, when he heads up to Queensland with former Australian Iron-man Trevor Hendy to complete the next phase of his rehabilitation.
“It’s a little bit warmer than Melbourne in winter, which is a positive. It’ll be good to get to the beach and do something different.”