FREMANTLE star Jesse Hogan is at least two months away from returning to full training as the Dockers take a slow and steady approach with the big forward's recovery from foot surgery.
Hogan's first season with the Dockers ended in round 14 when he re-injured his right foot against former club Melbourne at the MCG.
A dejected Hogan after injuring his foot against the Demons. Picture: AFL Photos
The 24-year-old had screws inserted into the navicular bone and he also had a bone spur in the navicular fracture.
Dockers general manager of football Peter Bell said while Hogan was ahead of schedule, he wouldn't be returning to full training until at least after the Christmas break.
"I wouldn't put an exact timeframe on it, but we wouldn't see him in full football before Christmas," Bell told radio station 6PR.
"He is up running on the AlterG (treadmill), which allows you to take some body weight off, so he's in front of schedule at the moment, but again, we're in no great rush to get him back.
"It's important we rehabilitate him conservatively and if that means we take our time, so be it."
Bell said Hogan's surgery was "more aggressive" than what he had previously.
"With the screws put into the navicular and a little bone spur into the navicular fracture itself, he's ahead of schedule, but it's going to be slow and steady," Bell said.
Hogan booted 13 goals in 12 games for the Dockers in his first season at the club, for a total of 83 career games.
Jesse Hogan celebrates a goal against Port Adelaide in round 13. Picture: AFL Photos
The Dockers gave up picks six and 23 in last year's NAB AFL Draft to secure Hogan and pick 65 from the Demons.
Bell said the Dockers were in no rush to get Hogan and key defender Alex Pearce (ankle) back into full training.
However, the news was better on Hogan's fellow key forward Matt Taberner, who is on track for a strong pre-season after recovering well from the foot problems that derailed his promising 2019 after just nine games.
"[He] possibly could have played late in the year. He got really, really close but we decided, obviously, to take a more conservative approach," Bell said.
The Dockers' first to fourth year players started pre-season training on Monday.