BIG V HEROES: Sunraysia cricket exports Jake Reed and Makinley Blows helped the next generation of local youngsters through the Victorian Diamonds in the Bush program this week. Photo: PAUL MENSCH

By MITCH RODD

VICTORIAN fast bowler Jake Reed admits he is now a professional at injury rehab.

The 26-year-old from Sunraysia has now undergone knee surgery to fix a partially torn ACL just months after having shoulder surgery.

The former Irymple and Nursery Ridge paceman has been no stranger to injuries over the past few seasons, having had knee surgery on four occasions.

Jake and fellow Victorian players  Makinley Blows, Molly Strano and Will Pucovski were all on board to support the Diamonds in the Bush coaching clinic in Mildura this week.

Vic Bushrangers and Spirit coaches were on hand to work with talented youngsters from Sunraysia.

Jake said there was no time frame on his return to action.

“We’re not going to rush it, there is no point as it could end up worse,” the Hobart Hurricanes quick said.

“I’m hoping to get a little bit of game time in before Christmas, but if it has to be after, so be it.

“Frustrating is an understatement. Injuries have started to get on my nerves a bit, but you have to try and take the positives with the negatives. The positives are I get to come home a bit more often and spend time with family.

“I could be back in October, I could be back in December, I could be back in March, I haven’t really put a time frame on it. I just want to get back to being 100 percent fit, which I haven’t been for the last couple of years.”

While Jake admitted knee surgery had been frustrating, recovery from shoulder surgery has come a long way.

“It was a bit of a rough rehab, it hasn’t been as smooth sailing as I thought it was going to be,” he said.

“I found that I got really good range nice and early but I’ve just got to find that last 10 percent of range now, which is going to be a big challenge.

“Hopefully we’ll look towards bowling a bit before Christmas.”

Young batting star Makinley Blows is still pinching herself at the cricketing opportunities she has received.

The former Workers-Gol Gol young gun found herself playing in the Women’s Big Bash League (WBBL) Twenty20 tournament for the Melbourne Stars last season, mixing it with some of the best women’s players in the world.

The focus for Makinley now is to improve further and grab an opportunity with the VicSpirit team.

“It was an amazing opportunity,” she said.

“It was definitely a different experience to what I was used to having in Mildura.

“It was awesome to be able to train with and against some of the best girls in the State.

“I’ll just keep working through pre-season to put my name up for selection.

“I’ve got specific goals in my game, but more than anything I just want to keep improving overall as a player and buy into all the coaches we’ve got. I want to gain as much knowledge as I can and build my game around that.

“I try and ask as many questions as I can of Meg Lanning. Also of Molly Strano who’s obviously an experienced player.

“I try to find out how she tries to dismiss me and get a bit of knowledge from the bowlers’ perspective.”