A HOST of Melbourne players will have staggered starts to their summer training programs after undergoing post-season surgeries, headlined by co-captain Jack Viney and emerging star Christian Petracca.
Five Demons players – Clayton Oliver, Aaron vandenBerg, Jayden Hunt, James Harmes and Neville Jetta – have had or are set for shoulder operations, according to Demons football manager Josh Mahoney.
Viney, who managed just 10 matches in 2018 after his troublesome foot flared on multiple occasions, has had a minor procedure on his ankle and was on crutches at Monday night's best and fairest count.
SEASON REVIEW Melbourne
Petracca and Mitch Hannan are also on crutches following knee operations to fix problems that affected them during the 2018 season.
While he will have his shoulder surgically repaired in the coming weeks, Jetta has also had an operation on his right knee.
"All players are expected to start pre-season in modified training, with staggered introductions to full training post-Christmas and leading into the JLT Community Series," Mahoney told AFL.com.au.
As AFL.com.au reported last week Oliver will have latarjet surgery on both of his shoulders, while Harmes went under the knife for his shoulder problem on Tuesday.
Hannan missed a fortnight with a persistent knee problem in July and was a late withdrawal in round 23 due to soreness in his knee, but the high-flyer returned for the club's finals campaign.
A trade target for Sydney, vandenBerg is weighing up his future at Melbourne as he considers whether to be closer to family in the harbour city.