Jared Petrenko flirted with the idea of following Geelong star Steven Motlop to London for knee surgery this pre-season, but instead opted for what he hopes will be a long-term fix.
Petrenko's knee tendonitis has meant a strictly monitored training load for the 24-year-old through every pre-season he has done.
Identified by coach Brenton Sanderson as the type of high-intensity player who might feel the pinch of the incoming interchange cap more than others, Petrenko finds himself in a catch-22 situation.
He's well aware of the need to improve his fitness to remain on the ground for longer, but increasing the kilometres he puts through his legs at training also increases the risk of inflaming the tendonitis.
"I spoke to a specialist and she said that my calves would stop working five minutes into a game…[so] my knees were taking the full brunt of an AFL game and they're not designed to do that," Petrenko said.
"Stevie Motlop's gone over to London to have surgery for [tendonitis]. We did talk about that but we wanted to see how my knees would react to the leg strengthening program that I had and they've actually reacted really well.
"I don't think the surgery really fixes the tendon…it's actually just for the pain side of things.
"I wouldn't mind something like that but I think it's a 12-week recovery. I need all the training I can get."