NATHAN Freeman will remain on a modified training program until Christmas but the St Kilda recruit is confident he can put a horror run of hamstring injuries behind him in time to play round one next season.
Freeman joined St Kilda in last month's trade period, having sought a fresh start after two injury-riddled seasons at Collingwood when he failed to play a senior game.
Freeman's troubles started when he tore his hamstring tendon in a 2014 NAB Challenge game against Geelong.
The speedy midfielder could not run at top speed for the rest of that year and, when his hamstring still did not feel right in the four VFL games he played early in 2015, Freeman went in for surgery that ultimately ended his second season at the Holden Centre.
Freeman told reporters on Friday that his latest rehabilitation was "going really well", but 2013's No.10 draft pick did not expect to return to full training until after Christmas.
"I'm on a pretty tailored program at the moment, (doing) a lot of strengthening, a lot of agility and conditioning," Freeman said.
"So the plan is to get all guns blazing by round one."
Freeman said the Saints medical team was confident he could overcome his hamstring troubles "pretty quickly".
"I was pretty happy speaking to the medicos on the transition over to the Saints about their protocol with hamstrings and their past history with hamstrings, so I held them in pretty high regard," he said.
The 20-year-old said it had not been easy to leave Collingwood after just two seasons, but he said the split had ultimately been amicable.
"It was extremely tough, obviously to leave a lot of good people and good mates," Freeman said.
"But in saying that circumstances arose and I was keen to jump at the opportunity that the Saints presented me to further my footy and be a part of a young list and an exciting list, with hopefully a lot of success on the horizon.
"There was no ill-feeling on my behalf at all, as long as I knew that [the move] was for all the right reasons.
"I was pretty content with that, so my family and my loved ones are the only ones I really listened to in that period and I was pretty content with the decision in the end."