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James Dampney  January 7, 2013 3:09 PM

SwansTV: Rohan's first running session Swans youngster Gary Rohan spoke to SwansTV today after completing his first running session since suffering a severe broken leg
My legs are a bit heavy at the moment, but when I got into a rhythm I was fine
SYDNEY Swans youngster Gary Rohan has taken a significant step forward in his recovery from a broken leg, running outdoors for the first time as the club returned to pre-season training on Monday.

The 21-year-old, who badly broke his leg in a challenge with North Melbourne's Lindsay Thomas in round four last season, has only been permitted to do controlled running on a treadmill over the past three months.

But he completed four five-minute runs in beautiful conditions at Sydney's Lakeside Oval on Monday morning as the reigning premiers conducted their first training session since the Christmas break.

Rohan was greeted with plenty of encouragement from his teammates and was naturally pleased to complete his first outdoor session in almost nine months.

“It wasn't too bad," Rohan told

"My legs are a bit heavy at the moment, but when I got into a rhythm I was fine.

“It was a good start to the New Year and hopefully I can keep on going without any injuries and can get back.”

Rohan's injury, caused when Thomas slid into him in the first quarter of their clash at the SCG, was one of the heartbreaking stories of 2012.

The speedy forward had been showing some good early form, but his horrific injury forced him to watch on for the rest of the season as the Swans claimed the premiership.

The club has been extremely cautious with Rohan's recovery and Swans physio Matt Cameron is happy with his progress.

“He’s been running for quite a while on the treadmill inside, but he’s now ready to get out here in the fresh air and he went well,” Cameron said.

“He looked good, no limping, and he’s happy and everyone is happy to see him out there.

“He’s been back home for a couple of weeks doing consistent treadmill running every second day to just consistently build up his volume and prior to that he was running at a reduced body weight on the modified treadmill.

“Now he’s into the grass running and he’s into some conditioning now.

“The main thing is that he’s not really limping and he’s ready now to increase things.”

The sixth overall selection in the 2009 NAB AFL Draft, Rohan is a very rare commodity at the Swans – a top 10 draft pick.

Co-captain Jarrad McVeigh, pick five back in 2002, is the only other top 10 pick the Swans have enjoyed in the past decade.

Rohan experienced some tightness following Monday's session, but he had a smile on his face and said it "felt really good to get that done".

And he is remaining patient with his long recovery.

“My goal is just to get fit again and be confident with my leg and hopefully get back to the reserves and then go from there,” he said.

James Dampney is a reporter for Follow him on Twitter: @AFL_JD