ESSENDON's high-altitude camp in Colorado was what captain Jobe Watson needed to snap back into the swing of pre-season action after admitting he returned to training lacking motivation.

On the back of his brilliant Brownlow Medal-winning season in 2012, the star midfielder said he struggled at first to find the enthusiasm to start again after his break.

However going overseas in November for the club's first venture into high-altitude training, was the tonic Watson required.

"The first month was a bit tough for me," he said on Tuesday.

"It helped being in Colorado, training over there, because I found that a really great stimulus, but I guess it's just the older you get, the more the life outside of footy starts to be more impactful on you.

"And then getting back into training and things like that takes a slower process to get into the swing of things.

"After about a month or so you start to get back into the routine and the freedom that you had off the field starts to go back and you get back into a structure."

Things have become more challenging since then, with ASADA's investigation into the club's supplement use last year set to continue for months.

The Bombers, though, are ready to put a turbulent six weeks behind them when they meet Adelaide at AAMI Stadium on Friday night to open the home and away season.

Watson is confident the players will be able to keep their minds away from off-field matters throughout the year.

"Obviously there were stressful times throughout the pre-season and in specifically the last six weeks," he said.

"What we do have, though, is an opportunity to do what we are paid to do, and I think it's natural for people to have been stressed or felt flat over the last six weeks. It's humanity and human emotion.

"But I think the playing group felt that and probably [felt] a little bit of a rollercoaster for periods of that. But at the moment the playing group is really upbeat and very excited."

David Zaharakis played his first game of the pre-season last week in the VFL after a quad injury, but Watson suggested the speedy midfielder would not be underdone against the Crows.

"I'd expect David to be there," Watson said.

"He's been able to do a lot of the training and a lot of the work. They've held him back to get extra work into him so I'd be very surprised if he wasn't there on Friday night."

Jobe Watson is a midfielder in NAB AFL Fantasy. He averaged 112.45 points in 2012. Register your team at our AFL Fantasy Hub.

Follow AFL website reporter Callum Twomey on Twitter at @AFL_CalTwomey.