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Recovering Robbie back on track

Football

Star midfielder Robbie Gray’s return to the training track has given Port Adelaide fans another reason to smile after their bumper AFL recruiting period, which last night added discarded Kangaroo Lindsay Thomas to the Power’s rookie list.

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Gray linked up with high-profile recruit Tom Rockliff yesterday in his first appearance since his shock testicular cancer diagnosis.

The pair ran laps at Alberton Oval as the Power’s main group returned to pre-season training.

Gray underwent surgery last month to successfully remove a tumour that was discovered shortly after the end of the season.

The 29-year-old also had a short course of precautionary chemotherapy.

Former Brisbane skipper Rockliff says the three-time All-Australian is in good spirits and keen to return to full training.

“No one could understand what he’s gone through,” Rockliff told reporters.

“We didn’t really touch on that but he’s obviously going really well from that side of things. He was covering the ground really well.

“He’s probably a little bit the same as me – he’ll be building up to Christmas and after Christmas, he’ll be probably back into full training.”

Rockliff has begun life at the Power in a modified training program after having surgery to repair a dislocated shoulder.

The 27-year-old dual club-champion earned a reputation as a midfield bull during his nine seasons with the Lions.

But with Ollie Wines, Sam Powell-Pepper and Brad Ebert already steering Port’s engine room, Rockliff is excited by the prospect of joining fellow recruits Jack Watts and Steven Motlop in a star-studded forward line.

“They’ve got a really good core, strong midfield group,” he said.

“It’s important for me that I fit into that and work out my role within that, whether I’m through the middle or forward.

“I think you’ve seen with the recruits that have come to Port Adelaide in the past, they’ve all improved on where they’ve been.

“I think my best football’s still in front of me. Hopefully I can continue to improve.”

-AAP

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