GEELONG swingman Jack Henry is set to reintegrate back into full training when the Cats return from the Christmas break after enduring a frustrating injury run across 2023, while former top-10 pick Jhye Clark will also be let off the leash in the new year.
Henry has endured a series of different foot injuries either side of the 2022 premiership win, including missing the closing stages of the 2023 campaign after requiring surgery to repair a Lisfranc ligament injury in August.
The 25-year-old missed the first nine games of the premiership defence due to foot surgery following an injury in a practice match. He also suffered a stress fracture in his foot ahead of 2022 and raced to be fit in time for round one, before missing two months midway through the season due to another setback.
In all, he has managed 26 games in the past two seasons.
But after a slow build across the off-season, the Geelong Falcons product has gradually been reintroduced back into the program across the first month of pre-season, with the versatile tall completing a few drills across a three-hour session at Deakin University on Friday.
The Cats have been conservative with the 2021 Carji Greeves Medal runner-up, but are confident he can return to full training in January and start building towards a return against St Kilda at GMHBA Stadium in round one.
Henry will be targeting some game time in Geelong's two pre-season practice matches against Carlton at Ikon Park on February 22 and Essendon at GMHBA Stadium on March 1.
Clark hasn't played a game since suffering a navicular stress reaction in his foot following his highly anticipated AFL debut against Richmond in round nine, where the Queenscliff product collected six disposals and five tackles in just over a quarter after being activated as the sub.
The 2022 No.8 pick was set to play in the 22 against Fremantle the following week before scans discovered the season-ending issue, after Clark reported foot soreness.
Much like Henry, Geelong's medical department have opted for a conservative approach with Clark across the first block of pre-season, with the young midfielder wearing the yellow non-contact hat and only partaking in half of training on Friday.
Veteran utility Mark Blicavs has almost fully recovered from the shoulder reconstruction he underwent in August ahead of Geelong's final game of the home and away season, after the Cats' finals chances were ended the week prior.
The two-time best and fairest winner has been training but without full contact this month, but will resume full training when the group reports back for pre-season training on January 10.
Gary Rohan has been restricted across November and December following ankle surgery at the end of last season.