SPEEDY Essendon midfielder Travis Colyer is determined to get even quicker as he recovers from his season-ending navicular injury.
The 24-year-old was in career-best form for the first half of the season before the stress fracture was detected in his foot after the Bombers' round 11 loss to West Coast.
He had surgery that ruled him out of the rest of Essendon's campaign, and this week stepped out of the moonboot he wore for the first 12 weeks of his rehabilitation period.
Colyer expects to be back running by the time the Essendon squad returns to training in mid-November, but won't start full training until next year.
"Because we're so far away from games, it's looking like another eight weeks until I start running," Colyer told AFL.com.au.
"In my head and the doc's head, it's about being ready to go in full training by after Christmas so I'll still have two months to get fit before the season starts.
"As much as the injury wasn't great, it's spurred me on with where I want to improve and get better."
One of those areas is an increase in power. Colyer's absence in the second half of the season proved the value of his pace, and the Bombers missed his line-breaking run and dash.
He also booted 11 goals before the injury struck, which was the biggest tally of his six-year career at the club.
"I want to get stronger and more explosive and more powerful. It's not something I've neglected, but I think it can be improved," he said.
"It is a strong part of my game and if you actually get better at it then there's no saying where I could go with that.
"With the way the game's going now with limited rotations, if you can build your aerobic capacity, you can run over the top of guys when they get tired, which I did earlier in the year."
Colyer admits to being a little shocked when he was told he had a problem with his navicular, an injury that ruined the career of former Cats defender and interim Essendon coach Matthew Egan.
He recently met Collingwood forward Alex Fasolo, a former teammate at under-18 level for Western Australia, who eased his mind about how to approach the injury.
"The biggest thing with the navicular is it's easy to focus on the ones that haven't gone well," Colyer said.
"I went to school with Alex Fasolo and I caught up with him about a month ago before I went away, because he's hurt both feet and has come back and is playing with no worries.
"I wanted to bounce a few ideas off him. Once you've got a screw in it and once you do the rehab like you should, it's just like every other injury."
Colyer's time on the sidelines meant the club allowed him to spend some of his break overseas during the home and away season, including a visit to the UK where he attended an Ashes Test match.
He was travelling when coach James Hird left the club, but only really felt his departure when he touched back down in the final weeks of the season.
"I woke up to the news and it probably didn't sink in until I got back," he said.
"It hit me a bit, and when I got home it really sunk in that he was actually gone. I sent him a text when I was away that I was sorry to hear the news.
"But the way the boys have finished off the season was good. I don't think that's an accurate reflection of where the list and club is placed."