LACHLAN Hamilton is raring to go up against the hosting Horsham Demons this Saturday.
Hamilton has had to sit on the sidelines and watch his teammates fight their way through the competition all season while he recovered from a round one ankle injury.
"Round one first game of the year I got a fracture in my ankle and did a good job," he said.
"It was mainly ligament damage and I was in a moon boot for a long time."
This season saw the Rats' first win against the Demons since 2003 and the senior player is keen to take a crack at the side himself in the Wimmera League's round 17.
"I'm really excited because we beat them round eight for the first time in something like fifteen years," he said.
"I wasn't a part of that team, so I'm pretty excited to hopefully beat them and cement second spot on the ladder."
Hamilton did everything he could to stay involved in the club while he underwent extensive physiotherapy.
"I didn't miss any games," he said. "I was out for 14 weeks of rehab and doing what ever I could for the team - helping out with stats and stuff like that. I got to training most nights.
"It's just been physio work ... I've been on the bike, swimming, and then once I could jog I was at training, jogging laps.
"Once I started training again I could start kicking. But there was a lot of rehab."
Hamilton has been back at training for about six weeks now but it looks like his ankle woes aren't over.
"I've done the same ankle before and I will probably have to have an operation in the off season," he said. "I did it probably four years ago."
Regardless of the outcome this Saturday, Hamilton will be relieved to be back on the field, playing full forward.
"I'm really keen to get back in," he said. "I've been itching. Especially for a whole year - it's bad enough missing a couple of games let alone the whole season.
"I didn't miss a game last year and won goal kicking, and then this year I've played one game and not even gotten through that game.
"Especially coming into finals, it's exciting to get back in there."
The Rats' ladder position rides heavily on the upcoming game. If the Saints can roll the Giants and the Rats get the win, they could lock in second spot come Saturday night.
"I'm a hundred per cent (ready)," he said. "As long as my body holds up and I can get a free season in, I'll be right."
His determination follows many years with the club.
"I played all my juniors at the club, so I was there for about six years, then I went away and played somewhere else for awhile and then I've been back at the club for the last four years," he said.
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