Dale Thomas’ second injury-ravaged AFL season with Carlton was nothing short of disastrous but the veteran midfielder is eyeing a change of fortune.
Thomas dislocated his left shoulder attempting his first tackle in the Blues’ season opener and struggled through five games before undergoing a year-ending shoulder reconstruction.
The 28-year-old was also hampered by persistent toe and ankle issues but is seeing the benefits of his extended break from the game.
“I’m feeling pretty good – I’m still on lighter duties until Christmas but the shoulder seems to have recovered really well,” Thomas told the club’s website.
“It was obviously disappointing not to have played much football last year but it’s given the ankle a chance to recover.
“So that’s feeling good, the shoulder’s good – hopefully I can keep cracking in with a lot of hard work over the pre-season and my luck can change.”
Thomas has played 25 games since making a big money free agency move from Collingwood at the end of 2013.
While he’s an unabashed admirer of former coach Mick Malthouse, he’s been buoyed by the positive early signs of the Brendon Bolton era.
“The general mood of the group is pretty optimistic about what we can achieve in this (training) block up until Christmas and then … what we can achieve in the season,” he said.
“It’s been a really good vibe around the place.
“The goal personally is to keep training hard, try to set the standards out there and try to teach these young boys where we want to get to and how we’re going to get there.”