A MONTH on from shoulder surgery and back running at Alberton, Jackson Trengove remains confident he'll line up for Port Adelaide in round one.
The key defender hurt his shoulder in mid-January but kept training in the hope he'd be able to manage his pain.
He could have, but the risk of compounding the injury later in the season was too great; he'd prefer to miss the NAB Challenge than the finals series.
With his arm now out of a sling, Trengove told AFL.com.au he was feeling better than expected and was still eyeing the season opener against Fremantle on April 5.
"I probably could have played with it the whole year and got away with it or it could have ended disastrously halfway through the year," Trengove said.
"We bit the bullet early on in the piece and got it stitched up – it was just a tear in the front of the shoulder.
"I started running this week and haven't had any issues at all, it's actually better than what I thought it would be – it's all guns blazing.
"We'll just build slowly and then when the boys are playing in the NAB Challenge I'll crank it up and hopefully get a bit of a run in before the start of the year."
His forced break from intense training has allowed Trengove to focus on the launch of his fashion label Shilah  - pronounced 'Shyla'.
It's a collaborative effort between Trengove and his graphic designer mate Harry Grigg and the first few weeks of its life have seen a promising demand for apparel.
The pair sold 125 t-shirts in week one and have had to re-order stock with a range of jumpers on the way.
While Grigg turns their ideas into designs, Trengove said his hands-on approach to the business allowed him a valuable release from the pressures and strains of professional sport.
"When you're injured you do get stuck doing your sweaty's (indoor aerobic training) and you get a bit down because you're not out on the track with the boys," he said.
"So for me to have something else to concentrate on has been a blessing and during the season when you can get caught up in the footy world there will be something there that you can freshen up with.
"I'm originally from Melbourne where you've got Brunswick St where it's all happening and you've got these funky little clothing lines whereas over here (Adelaide) we probably lack that a little bit.
"Eventually we'd like to open up a shop and there's a couple of different ideas we've got up our sleeves that we'd like to bring out.
"We want to keep the clothes pretty boutique – so you're not going out and everyone's got the same t-shirt on as you … there's nothing worse than that."