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Daniher staying positive

BTV: Media Conference | Joe Daniher - March 15 Forward Joe Daniher spoke to the media at the MCG on March 15.

Essendon star Joe Daniher is taking a silver-lining approach to his rehabilitation after a calf injury delayed his return to home and away football this week.

It will likely take four to five weeks for the 25-year-old to recover from the strain suffered at training on Wednesday, a frustrating setback for the forward who had just returned from a long absence due to osteitis pubis.

Daniher took part in both of the club’s JLT Community Series clashes this pre-season and was thrilled to be back on the field having been on the sidelines since round seven last year.

“(I was) going really well and from my point of view I was just really happy to be back playing and enjoyed playing a couple of JLT games,” Daniher said on Friday.

“Although on restricted minutes it was really enjoyable for me to get back out there.

“I was really happy with our preparation and our plan heading into round one and I think (the injury is) just a bad bit of luck and that happens.”

The 2017 Crichton Medal winner admitted his frustration after displaying good signs in the hitouts against Carlton and Geelong.

“My priority was to get out there, play, enjoy playing and I felt like I had the right to just go out and have a bit of fun with playing after being out for a little while.

“The body was feeling really good and I was pulling up really well.

“This is a little annoying that it’s come now, because I would have loved to be out there in round one with my teammates and playing for the football club.”

But despite the untimely nature of the injury, Daniher’s mindset is positive and he is confident he can make the most of his time recovering in the next few weeks.

“There’s never a good time to get injured but I’ve got a fantastic opportunity now to take a little bit longer, work a little bit harder on those little things that I want to fine-tune in my game and hopefully come back a better player.

“I’ll be back playing as soon as physically possible to be back playing, I’ll be convincing them that I’m right to go.

“I’m going to enjoy working really hard throughout this period getting myself to a position where I can come back and perform and I’m really excited by that opportunity.”

Daniher threw his support behind the squad ahead of the side’s clash with Greater Western Sydney in round one on Sunday, March 24.

“There are no easy games in football and we’ll take on the Giants who are a class outfit. Our squad’s in terrific shape barring a couple of injuries.

“We’ve had guys who’ve had magnificent pre-seasons, we’ve seen the development of a couple of players throughout the JLT series and we’re really confident in our squad.

“We’re in good shape to take on not only just round one, but set ourselves up for a long, solid year.”

Confident about the Bombers’ ability to show greater consistency in 2019, Daniher said he hopes he can do the same this year as he continues to drive the standards as part of the leadership group at The Hangar.

“I’m at a point in my career now where I’ve got some really good self-awareness of where I’m at as a player and where I need to get to and grow to.

“I want to be a really strong leader out there for our footy club and from a football point of view, it’s being able to compete for longer periods in games, compete for longer months and full seasons.

“I’m in a position now where I’ve done my apprenticeship and I’m ready to play solid seasons for this footy club and hopefully set us up for some more success, which we’ve been starved of in recent times.”