ESSENDON spearhead Joe Daniher completed his biggest session of the pre-season on Wednesday, returning to the track after a week sidelined by illness.
Daniher trained away from the main group, completing a heavy running load, set shots and one-on-one work with assistant coach Ben Rutten.
Having overcome last week's bout of conjunctivitis, Daniher continues to increase his loads after a minimal schedule pre-Christmas following a 2018 campaign derailed by osteitis pubis.
The Bombers remain hopeful the 2017 All Australian will re-join full training before the team's first JLT Community Series clash against Carlton in 43 days' time.
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Daniher was joined on the club's second training oval at Tullamarine by big man Cale Hooker and Josh Begley, who clocked long running sessions.
Orazio Fantasia, Marty Gleeson, David Myers, Tom Bellchambers, Conor McKenna, Jayden Laverde and Mark Baguley were put through their paces before heading behind closed doors.
Captain Dyson Heppell was spotted on the track early on before heading indoors and re-emerging in long discussions with coaching staff during competitive drills.
Prized recruit Dylan Shiel, speedster Adam Saad and last year's best and fairest Devon Smith weren't sighted during the open session that lasted close to two hours.
Defender Mason Redman, who is returning from a fractured ankle, completed light rehabilitation work as the rest of the group was put through match simulation, with midfielder Zach Merrett a clear standout.
Tom Hird, son of James, and Mason Fletcher, son of Dustin, enjoyed their second day at the club after being introduced to the pre-season schedule on Tuesday.
Hird, 17, lined up in match simulation – opposed at times to Jake Stringer – as he continues to learn the basics of the game, having played soccer as a junior.
Fletcher, 18, was kept to light duties as he works through back stress fractures that saw him choose to remain in the TAC Cup for 2019 and not nominate for the 2018 NAB AFL Draft.
Both are eligible to be selected by the Bombers as father-son players in this year's NAB AFL Draft.