Burbury close to return

GEORGE Burbury's return to AFL following the sickening broken jaw he sustained during the NAB Challenge is likely to be within the next fortnight, Geelong coach Chris Scott confirmed this week.

Burbury, 21, made a successful return to football in the Cats' VFL practice match against Footscray on the weekend, kicking 2.0 from 12 possessions.

But it was the manner of the performance that impressed most, with the Hobart forward not taking a backwards step, with several strong marks and a strong attack on the ball.

His coach assessed it as a performance that showed Burbury had no ``mental demons'' hanging over his head.

``The first contest he went for, he went back with the flight and got shirt-fronted and bounced, pretty much, straight back up,'' Scott said on Geelong's website.

``It certainly didn't affect the way he approached that contest, or the next one as well. 

``He's not far away. He's fortunate in some ways that the injury he sustained meant he could still pretty much train without contact all the way through.

``He's in very good condition and has played one game back at VFL level and we just need to work out now whether we make him available for selection this week or next week, but it will be one of the two.''

Burbury, who has played just the two games at senior level, suffered a double fracture in his jaw after colliding with the knee of Nick Maxwell in the opening NAB Challenge match on February 12.

Ironically, if he were to make his senior return this week, it would again be the Magpies he was facing, this time at the MCG on Saturday night.

In the same practice match, Launceston's Jake Kolodjashnij, whose twin brother, Kade, made his AFL debut for Gold Coast over the weekend and earlier this week received a contract extension, finished as the Cats' best player, after a dominant display leading a defence that conceded only 10 goals.

It continued a strong preseason for Kolodjashnij, who was drafted with pick 41 last year, in the Cats' reserves.

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