Geelong key forward Mitch Clark is determined that his latest AFL setback will not beat him.
The injury-prone Cat will miss their round-one blockbuster against Hawthorn later this month, thanks to a persistent calf muscle problem.
Clark first hurt the calf in January and his recovery was going well, but it has flared again.
He only managed eight senior games after returning from retirement last season, again because of a calf muscle injury.
“(I am) shattered that my body has let me down once again,” Clark posted on Instagram.
“I know some of you are saying ‘here we go again’ and ‘just give up’, but I refuse to accept that this is it.
“I’m forever grateful for the opportunity that Geelong have given me and the huge amount of support not only the club but the supporters have shown me.
“I will continue to do whatever it takes to get back out there with the boys and do what I love most.”
Cats football manager Steve Hocking said they expect Clark to be available early in the season.
“Mitch has had a solid pre-season and has put a lot of work in through the summer,” Hocking said in a club statement.
“His recovery was on track before this setback.”