GEELONG, AUSTRALIA - AUGUST 18: Tom Stewart of the Cats marks the ball during the round 22 AFL match between the Geelong Cats and the Fremantle Dockers at GMHBA Stadium on August 18, 2018 in Geelong, Australia. (Photo by Darrian Traynor/Getty Images)

Geelong defender Tom Stewart is "ready to go" for 2022 after returning to training this week and continuing rehabilitation for his season-ending foot injury.

The 28-year-old had his 2021 campaign cut short after sustaining a Lisfranc joint injury, with Stewart having since looked to gain the help of a renowned ballet physiotherapist.

A career-best campaign saw Stewart claim his maiden best and fairest and a third All-Australian blazer, however his absence late into the year severely hindered Geelong's premiership prospects and placed some concern on his planning for early next year.

While initial signs were alarming for both Stewart and the Cats, the Carji Greeves medallist revealed his recovery was on track this pre-season.

“I think anytime you start talking about feet, people get really nervous because it’s such an important part of your body,” Stewart told media on Wednesday, per K Rock.

“I’ve had only one session in 50 that I’ve pulled up sore from. So, in terms of my preparation and the way I’m feeling, I’m super confident I’ve done the work now, and I’m ready to go.

GEELONG, AUSTRALIA - AUGUST 25: Tom Stewart of the Cats warms up prior to the round 23 AFL match between the Geelong Cats and the Gold Coast Suns at GMHBA Stadium on August 25, 2018 in Geelong, Australia. (Photo by Robert Cianflone/Getty Images)

“I’m excited by seeing a full pre-season, and just being back around the group’s been fantastic for my mindset.”

The final group of Geelong players returned to training this week ahead of the new year, with the Cats looking to redeem themselves after their horror prelimary final showing against Melbourne in September.

Stewart said returning to the track alongside the rest of Geelong's senior squad was another benchmark in his recovery.

“We had our first time trial on Monday, which was pretty solid,” he added.

“Then we did about an hour of footy, which was really, really good, (and) really pleasing for myself to tick that landmark off, in terms of my rehab and being back around the boys and having a bit of fun kicking the footy around."

PERTH, AUSTRALIA - APRIL 08: Tom Stewart of the Cats is tackled by Mark LeCras of the Eagles during the round three AFL match between the West Coast Eagles and the Geelong Cats at Optus Stadium on April 8, 2018 in Perth, Australia. (Photo by James Elsby/Getty Images)

Stewart revealed that he has looked to ballet physiotherapist Dr Sue Mayes to aid his recovery, with the acclaimed medical practitioner also a consultant with North Melbourne

“I’ve really liaised well with her, and she’s given me massive confidence throughout the rehab process,” Stewart said.

“I’ve checked-in four times with her, and she’s been unbelievable for me."

The Cats will begin their 2022 campaign against Essendon in Round 1 next year, with the entire AFL fixture to be released later this week.

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