NECK surgery has allowed Melbourne midfielder Nathan Jones to regain the strength missing when he battled through the final rounds of last season.
After a successful hit-out against the Western Bulldogs on Sunday, the skipper said he was back to 95 per cent strength and said he couldn't be happier with his decision to have post-season surgery.
The courageous Jones conceded the final eight to 10 weeks of 2015 were difficult for him as he struggled to maintain the power that defines his game.
"I started losing a fair bit of strength and power, so at stoppages, laying tackles and that sort of stuff became difficult," Jones said.
Despite the hiccup, Jones finished fifth in the club best and fairest after three consecutive club champion awards between 2012-2014, when he was unlucky not to be named All Australian.
Coach-in-waiting Simon Goodwin expects Jones to be firing at round one, even after the neck surgery and a minor setback when he hurt his knee at training a month ago.
"He is in really good condition to attack the season," Goodwin said.
"It's been a slightly different approach but one we think we are going to get big benefits from."
Jones praised the medical team for their work on his neck and having him in such good shape on the eve of the season.
"Right now I don't feel like anything has happened. It feels basically back to normal," Jones said.