BOOM Hawthorn recruit Jaeger O'Meara looms as a round one starter against Essendon after declaring himself in "really good nick" despite ongoing knee injuries that have seen him miss two seasons of football.
The former Gold Coast midfielder crossed to Waverley Park in last year's NAB AFL Trade Period with concerns over an ongoing patella tendon problem that hadn't allowed him to play senior footy since 2014.
Speaking at a club function on Sunday, the 22-year-old said he's feeling fit, and likely to be available for the club's JLT Community Series campaign that starts against Geelong on Friday.
"I've been progressing quite well, blew a few cobwebs out in the intraclub and it was good to put the boots back on and play with my new teammates," O'Meara said.
"I've done a whole lot of work over the last two years, the Gold Coast (medicos) got me in great nick, and coming here (to) Hawthorn has got me in really good nick as well.
"I'm looking forward to what's ahead and hopefully playing some senior footy soon."
O'Meara's availability this season will be pivotal to the Hawks' ambitions of becoming a flag contender again after crashing out of last year's finals series in straight sets.
The 2013 NAB AFL Rising Star will join former Swan Tom Mitchell in a new-look Hawthorn midfield after the departures of club legends Sam Mitchell and Jordan Lewis to West Coast and Melbourne, respectively.