MARC Pittonet is seeing a new side to his midfield group after a few weeks watching from the sideline.
Undergoing PCL surgery after Round 6, Pittonet knew he was set for a stint away from playing, with the prognosis for recovery sitting at three months from the time of the injury.
With the worst part of his injury over, Pittonet is looking forward to getting stuck into his rehab program, so he can get back on the park when the time is right.
“I got the knee brace off last week and I’m making some good progress,” Pittonet said on Triple M.
“I’ll really get to attack the rehab in the next four or five weeks and see where that leaves me, but hopefully I'll be back soon.”
In the meantime, Pittonet has been even more involved with ruck partner Tom De Koning, passing on his knowledge and expertise about the ruck position and craft.
The 25-year-old admits that De Koning’s biggest strength is his aerial prowess, with Pittonet impressed with the younger’s ability to dominate in the air and take big grabs.
“I just think his aerial strength [is his biggest asset],” he said.
“His last quarter [in Round 10] he took some really good contested marks and I think that's something he’s built on week in and week out.
“I think he can go anywhere with that contested marking part of his game.”
As well as taking De Koning under his wing, Pittonet has been helping out with any other players who have had the opportunity to rotate through the ruck in his absence, becoming an extra set of hands - and eyes - to ruck coach and former teammate Matthew Kreuzer.
“With ‘SOS’ [Silvagni] and Tommy and any of those other boys who go through there in the last few weeks and the next few weeks, that’s just how I’m going about my role," he said.
“I’ll go down pre-game, post-game, half-time, there’s things I can see from the stands that ‘Kreuz’ can’t see from the bench so I can contribute and keep adding craft.”
Pittonet also chimed in on the plaudits the midfield group have been receiving externally, noting how close they have become and the training standards that they have been setting – especially since the arrival of George Hewett and Adam Cerra.
“At the club, the [midfield] boys are all sitting together in meetings, they’re spending time together pre-training and post-training watching vision, working on their craft: it’s a real community,” he said.
“It’s not just one or two blokes. It’s seven, eight, driving our careers together, working on our careers together and bringing as many boys as we can along.
“I think that’s why you’re seeing blokes like Jack Carroll come in and have a really big impact, because we’re bringing boys along. George and 'Cez' have just been unbelievable with that standard that they’ve set.”