BERNIE Vince is set to join his teammates in full training within the next fortnight as he finally shakes off the injury concerns that have hampered his preparations for the 2016 season.
The reigning Keith 'Bluey' Truscott medallist had a compromised start to pre-season training before Christmas as he battled hamstring tendinitis.
The star midfielder then broke the little finger in his right hand when it connected with teammate Jack Viney's elbow in a training drill in early December.
Vince told AFL.com.au he was using the club's training camp in Maroochydore to fine-tune the way he was handling the ball so that he could rejoin teammates in full contact training soon.
"I'm integrating back into the group now. I'm not in full contact yet, but another week or two and I should be ready to go," Vince said.
He also said hamstring tendinitis was something he would have to manage throughout his career after flare ups over the past two pre-seasons.
Vince said being able to keep his running program going, even after having two wires inserted into his finger, was a bonus in maintaining his conditioning.
Friday is a crucial day for Vince as he does "just about" the full complement of training.
"I was able to keep my fitness right up, which was handy, and that means I'll be able to slot straight back into the group when I come back," Vince said.
"I'm handling the balls pretty well with this finger so I'm doing pretty much everything apart from the tackling."
On Monday, the Melbourne players visited a gymnastics facility in Buderim, around 20 minutes from their base at Twin Waters.
Vince said a key benefit of gymnastics was practising the art of falling gracefully to reduce the risk of injury when landing.
"We practice how we fall from height – not that I get very high off the ground or anything – but that's probably 20 per cent of the reasoning behind it," he said.
"The other 80 per cent is the strength side of things. There's a lot of core stuff involved, which is a big part of the strength component of our program."