Be patient, no short cuts and work hard.
That was the foundation of the advice Carlton star Sam Docherty gave Bendigo Pioneers duo Flynn Perez and Brodie Kemp as they recover from knee reconstructions.
Docherty, who is on the road to recovery from his second knee reconstruction, took time out of his own rehab this year to assist the two AFL Draft prospects.
Kemp, from Echuca, is expected to be selected in the first round of Wednesday night's AFL National Draft, while Bendigo-based Perez could be selected as high as the early 20s in Thursday night's section of the draft.
"Through our management group, Flynn spent a day with the club doing rehab with me,'' Docherty said.
"Through that I caught up with him for a coffee and we spoke about rehab and since then I'v been checking in with him.
"I told him at the start to take his time and not to rush. I think he'll have a long career in the AFL, so he doesn't need to be rushing back to do this pre-season.
"I told him to get through his rehab, get through his progressions and make sure it's as safe as possible when he does start training again.
"I checked in with Brodie just after he did it to make sure he wasn't too flat.
"People do get back from them, so I just reassured him that he'd be fine as long as he did the work."
Docherty's mentoring of Perez continued through the season.
"I've been in contact with Flynn five or six times and it seems like he's been going really well,'' Docherty said.
"He's a ripping kid. Fingers crossed everything holds up for him."
Docherty said one of the few positives to come out of undergoing two reconstructions was it allowed him to help other players going through similar situations.
"Inevitably, after having two reconstructions you turn into some sort of knee specialist yourself,'' he said.
"You understand the rehab, what goes right, what goes wrong, what sore sports are normal what sore spots are not normal.
"You have a knowledge behind you that you wouldn't have had previously.
"Anyone that's done a knee does the same thing and as much time as they can for anyone who is going through the same thing.
"When I did my first and second knee I had countless other AFL players putting their hands up to help me.
"Knowing how hard the rehab is and how hard mentally it is to get through it, you have a lot of time for other players going through the same thing.
"Particularly, to go through it in your draft year was pretty tough for Flynn and Brodie."
Kemp has been linked to Docherty's Blues with selection nine, but it's likely Perez will be off the board before the club's second pick at 43.
"I'd love to see both boys get picked up by Carlton, but I'm not sure we've got the picks to do that,'' Docherty said.
Kemp and/or Perez would add another layer to an already strong Bendigo Pioneers flavour at the Blues.
Paddy Dow and Lochie O'Brien were both first round selections to the Blues in the 2017 AFL Draft.
"They've both returned in amazing shape,'' Docherty said of Dow and O'Brien.
"I raced Lochie in the 2km time trial the other day, he's a very good runner, and he just pipped me.
"Paddy has returned in the best condition he's been in in his short time at the club.
"Both look set for big years, hopefully, which will help the club enormously."
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