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Where's your club at? Pre-season update, injuries and more

Dylan Grimes wears a face guard at training after breaking his nose - AFL,Adelaide Crows,Brisbane Lions,Carlton Blues,Collingwood Magpies,Essendon Bombers,Fremantle Dockers,Geelong Cats,Gold Coast Suns,GWS Giants,Hawthorn Hawks,Melbourne Demons,North Melbourne Kangaroos,Port Adelaide Power,Richmond Tigers,St Kilda Saints,Sydney Swans,West Coast Eagles,Western Bulldogs,News
Dylan Grimes wears a face guard at training after breaking his nose

Pre-season in a nutshell

A freak knee injury to All Australian defender Daniel Talia – sustained rolling over in bed - has been the blip on an otherwise perfect pre-season for the Crows. Talia should be ready for round one. Midfielder Brad Crouch has overcome a minor foot injury and looks primed for a big season.

Injury list

Hugh Greenwood: Has been on a modified program with an abdominal tendon injury and is yet to rejoin the main group but is getting through plenty of running. However, the midfielder should be available for the start of the season.

Kyle Hartigan: The key defender had surgery on both knees at the end of last season. He is increasing his training loads and should rejoin the main group next week.

Andrew McPherson: It's been a slow and steady build-up for the second-year defender, who has been managing a groin issue. Getting through plenty of running at training, but there is no timeline on his return. Missed most of last season with groin and hamstring injuries.

Daniel Talia: The All Australian key defender has returned to training after having knee surgery in December. Still has his left thumb strapped after reconstructive surgery at the end of last season. Could play in the Crows' second JLT game and on track for round one.

Intraclub: None, but an under-23 Crows team will play Port Adelaide's under-23s on Saturday, February 23 at Thebarton Oval.

Playing AFLX: Eddie Betts (Deadly, captain), Cam Ellis-Yolmen (Deadly), Rory Laird (Flyers), Rory Sloane (Rampage).

JLT schedule: Port Adelaide, The Memorial Oval, Port Pirie, Saturday March 2, 3.40pm ACDT; Greater Western Sydney, UNSW Canberra Oval, Friday March 8, 7.10pm AEDT. - Lee Gaskin

Daniel Talia is back in training after injuring his knee turning over in bed. Picture: AFL Photos

FULL FIXTURE Every round, every game

Pre-season in a nutshell

Pushing the pre-season camp back from December to January was a big hit with the players, who not only experienced a different environment in Hobart, but also returned with less time until the JLT Community Series and premiership matches. Darcy Gardiner's injury is a setback, but Stefan Martin returning to full capacity has come just at the right time. There are still so many spots up for grabs.

Injury list 

Noah Answerth: Has returned to skills training after contracting glandular fever. Will be slowly progressed.

Marcus Adams: The Western Bulldogs recruit has also had a knee niggle. He's running strongly and should be integrated into full training shortly.

Darcy Gardiner: The versatile defender is almost halfway through rehab from a posterior cruciate ligament injury to his right knee. Still wearing a huge brace, Gardiner is at least another month away from a return but has begun strength and functional movement training.

Connor McFadyen: The Lions Academy draftee is still recovering from foot surgery. Has been doing stationary drills and 'off legs' conditioning and is now back to a modified running program.

Jack Payne: The hulking defender has been progressed slowly following the stress reaction in his tibia that wiped out much of 2018. Will progress his running slowly in the next few weeks.

Intraclub: The Lions played an intraclub at Moreton Bay Central Sports Complex, Burpengary, on Friday. Brisbane will play Gold Coast in a practice match at Metricon Stadium on Saturday, February 23.

Playing AFLX: Luke Hodge (Bolts), Daniel Rich (Bolts), Dayne Zorko (Rampage)

JLT schedule: Hawthorn, Burpengary, Sunday March 3, 12.40pm AEST; Melbourne, Casey Fields, Saturday March 9, 4.10pm AEDT. - Michael Whiting

Pre-season in a nutshell

Carlton returned from its pre-season training camp in Mooloolaba on Friday, where it enjoyed a hard week on the track and a series of team bonding exercises. The Blues have a lengthy injury list for this time of year but are confident in the majority returning by the JLT Community Series. Carlton will play Hawthorn in an unofficial scratch match at Ikon Park on February 21.

Injury list

Caleb Marchbank: Recovering from a back problem. He was running laps on Wednesday, but is yet to return to full duty and is perhaps taking longer than the club first expected.

Liam Jones: Fractured his hand in the club's first session back after Christmas. He's quickly rejoining drills with the main group.

Darcy Lang: A foot problem has limited him throughout pre-season. He's still on very light duties and is highly unlikely to be considered for round one.

Matthew Kreuzer: Is working alongside the club's developing ruckmen as he returns from minor knee surgery. He isn't back to full training, but the club expects him to return by the JLT Community Series.

Sam Docherty: The co-captain will miss most, if not all, of season 2019 with another ACL injury.

Jarrod Pickett: In the very early stages of his recovery from a ruptured patella. Don't expect to see him back on the track any time soon.

Alex Fasolo: The new recruit is unlikely to play round one after breaking his arm in an alcohol-fuelled incident on Australia Day. Is still running at a high level but has his arm in a brace.

Tom Williamson: Whispers are rife about the fitness of the young defender, but the club was adamant this week that it is simply managing his loads. He missed all of 2018 with a back problem and has trained sporadically throughout pre-season.

Intraclub: The club is yet to publicly release details of an intraclub match, though has done a series of match simulation drills at training recently.

Playing AFLX: Patrick Cripps (Rampage), Zac Fisher (Rampage)

JLT schedule: Essendon, Ikon Park, Thursday February 28, 6.40pm AEDT; Collingwood, Morwell Reserve, Monday March 11, 2.10pm AEDT - Riley Beveridge

Matthew Kreuzer is on his way back from minor knee surgery. Picture: AFL Photos

KICK-IN KINGS Who takes the responsibility at your club?

Pre-season in a nutshell

After their latest start to a pre-season campaign during Nathan Buckley's tenure as coach, the Magpies hit the ground running and have stuck with the hard-hitting competitive work that worked so well for them last pre-season. A week-long training camp on the Gold Coast provided some valuable heat training and reinforced the closeness in the group.

Injury list 

Dayne Beams: The big-name signing started the pre-season with a back issue that has limited his pre-season. Didn't train at all this week, with the club saying he has been ill. Should be OK for round one.

Jack Crisp: The star defender had post-season hip surgery and has battled a back ailment since but is expected to be ready when the real stuff starts.

Tim Broomhead: The small forward/midfielder is still building his fitness after suffering an horrific, season-ending broken leg in round two last year.

Lynden Dunn: The veteran full-back is determined to defy medical opinion by making his return in round one after undergoing a knee reconstruction after round 14 last year. Has stepped up his running and change-of-direction work.

Brodie Grundy: The All Australian ruckman is still recovering from a bruised toe he copped when new teammate Jordan Roughead accidentally stood on it. Expected to resume full training in the next week or so.

Jeremy Howe: Had only recently returned to full training after shoulder surgery when he sustained another corked thigh last week that requires minor surgery. Should be back within a fortnight.

Will Kelly: The key backman underwent an ankle surgery in October and has steadily upped his training loads while learning the Pies' defensive system.

Matt Scharenberg: The Magpies' other knee victim, Scharenberg is making solid progress following his third knee reconstruction after a round 17 mishap. Has completed a lot of running and has been kicking a ball for some time.

Daniel Wells: The veteran midfielder is tracking slowly after missing the bulk of last season with a serious foot injury. It is hoped he will start the season in the VFL and work his way back.

Intraclub: The Pies won't have an official intraclub game, but they will take on Melbourne in a scratch match at Olympic Park on Friday February 22.

Playing AFLX: Scott Pendlebury (Flyers), Steele Sidebottom (Bolts), Jaidyn Stephenson (Bolts), Travis Varcoe (Deadly)

JLT schedule: Fremantle, Joondulup, Monday March 4, 3.40pm AWST; Carlton, Morwell, Monday March 11, 2.10pm AEDT. - Ben Collins

Pre-season in a nutshell

The Bombers are moving into the next phase of their training, building up their match simulation in recent weeks despite a number of their key players being unavailable through injury. It has meant a group of their younger players have been standouts in important roles, including Andrew McGrath and Kyle Langford in the midfield. Could we see speedster Adam Saad spending some time at the centre clearances as well? It's something coach John Worsfold is weighing up as the club works out the best way to maneuver his line-up to the new rules.

Injury list 

Josh Begley: Begley is back into main training after his knee reconstruction last year. The powerful half-forward has admirers at Essendon with his strength and forward craft.

Joe Daniher: All eyes are on Daniher as he continues his rehabilitation from his osteitis pubis injury. He has started to take part in match simulation drills and stepped up his load, but it remains touch-and-go whether he will be ready for round one. The Bombers are cautiously optimistic he'll be there.

Martin Gleeson: A 12-week injury has turned into a 12-month layoff for Gleeson, who still has not reached top speed as he deals with the serious ankle issue he suffered in last year's JLT Community Series.

Dyson Heppell: The captain has been on a modified program as he battles some hamstring tendinitis. The club expects to nurse him through that for the next two weeks to clear the injury before unleashing him back into the main group.

Cale Hooker: After a series of hamstring injuries earlier in his career, Hooker is treated conservatively by the Bombers each time he has a soft-tissue complaint. He has missed three weeks with a hamstring strain.

Conor McKenna: McKenna has struggled with a groin injury for most of the pre-season, running laps on the Bombers' adjoining oval often away from the main group. They need him at top pace, so it will have been a concern that he hasn't completed much match simulation to this point.

Zach Merrett: Merrett is out of the moonboot he was wearing following a minor ankle injury last month. The gun midfielder is expected to be back in training before the JLT Community Series. 

Kobe Mutch: Was sent for scans after rolling his ankle during a training session last week but received good news and escaped serious injury. Has been in a moonboot since the scare, but the injury shouldn't impact his season.

Mason Redman: The versatile youngster went down with an ankle fracture in November but has made a swift recovery and will be back soon to main training pressing his claims for a senior berth.

Devon Smith: Managed throughout the pre-season, the 2018 best-and-fairest suffered a bicep injury on Friday that will be closely monitored by the Bombers.

Intraclub: The Bombers say they will not have a full-scale intraclub this pre-season but instead continue to fold their match simulation into training sessions.

Playing AFLX: Michael Hurley (Flyers), Anthony McDonald-Tipungwuti (Deadly), Andrew McGrath (Bolts), Dylan Shiel (Rampage)

JLT schedule: Carlton, Ikon Park, Thursday, February 28; Geelong, GMHBA Stadium, Thursday, March 7. - Callum Twomey

Pre-season in a nutshell

The Dockers have done a lot of work on ball movement and defending the ground since the Christmas break. They are going longer and more direct into attack to take advantage of their tall forward line, which looks dangerous, but midfield depth in the wake of Lachie Neale's departure is a concern after Connor Blakely joined Stephen Hill on the sidelines.

Injury list

Harley Bennell: Will be avoiding black cats and ladders over the next month in a bid to play some part during pre-season games. Experienced calf tightness last week and was on light duties but has otherwise enjoyed his best pre-season in four years at Freo.

Connor Blakely: A three-month hamstring setback was a shattering blow for the promising 22-year-old, who was earmarked to help cover Neale's absence but now won't be seen until about round seven.

Stephen Hill: Underwent quad surgery in December after five stints on the sidelines during 2018. Hill is back jogging cautiously and was kicking a tennis ball at training last week. Has a fair way to go and won't play before round three

Speedster Stephen Hill won't return before round three. Picture: AFL Photos

Shane Kersten: Pulled up short during lanework last week and left the track in quite a bit of pain. It is believed Kersten tore his plantar fascia, which had been troubling him over summer, and he should be back training soon ahead of a career-defining campaign.

Aaron Sandilands: Worrying to see the veteran battling another calf issue over the past few weeks after a strain saw him miss the final nine games last year. Is expected to be fit for round one but Sean Darcy has the chance to impress. 

Michael Walters: Has been managing the left knee which gave him grief throughout last season but has looked impressive going flat out in running exercises and has been in and out of skill work recently. 

Intraclub: TBC

Playing AFLX: Nat Fyfe (Flyers), Joel Hamling (Deadly), Bradley Hill (Deadly)

JLT schedule: Collingwood, Joondalup, March 4; West Coast, Mandurah, March 10 - Travis King

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Pre-season in a nutshell

Training is back to GMHBA Stadium, away from the prying eyes at Deakin University before Christmas. Chris Scott has returned after an extended summer break, with a move already flagged for Gary Ablett to spend more time in attack. The kick-in structure remains a work in progress as they wait for the return of designated kicker Zach Tuohy. Watch for Tom Stewart to take the reins.

Injury list 

Ryan Abbott: Has suffered hamstring tendinitis and back soreness after adding 6kg to his frame in the gym. Slowly starting to work back into full training.

Nakia Cockatoo: The lingering effects of back-to-back knee surgeries last year appear to be gone. Has worked on his endurance base as he nears maximum speed.

Lachie Fogarty: Sent for hip surgery after a pre-season hampered by groin soreness. Will be prevented from running for up to eight weeks, ruling him out of round-one selection.

Sam Menegola: Has put in a power of running after a knee clean-up post-season. Expected to take part in some JLT Community Series game time.

Zac Smith: Delayed by a persistent back injury that hindered his 2018 campaign. Started to build his running base but finds himself down the pecking order for round one ruckman.

Zach Tuohy: Hardly sighted on the track as he builds his fitness from knee surgery through cross-training behind closed doors. Set to return to running inside a fortnight, with doubt surrounding his 138 consecutive games record – the longest active streak in the AFL.

Intraclub: Will host North Melbourne in match simulation in Torquay, slated for Friday February 22 – the same day as AFLX.

Playing AFLX: Mark Blicavs (Bolts), Patrick Dangerfield (Bolts, captain), Tom Hawkins (Bolts), Tim Kelly (Deadly)

JLT schedule: West Coast, Leederville Oval, Friday March 1, 4.10pm AWST; Essendon, GMHBA Stadium, Thursday March 7, 7.10pm AEDT. - Mitch Cleary

Pre-season in a nutshell

Things have gone about as well as they can so far. Dogged by injuries for much of their existence, it's been relative smooth-sailing for the Suns since coming back from their pre-Christmas training camp in New Zealand. Jarrod Witts and Touk Miller signing long-term extensions has the club buzzing.

Injury list 

Corey Ellis: The Suns have taken a cautious approach with the Richmond recruit, who has a history of groin problems. Ellis is slowly being brought back up to a full program but is touch-and-go to be available for round one.

Nick Holman: The rugged utility is being nursed through the pre-season with a back complaint. He's on a slightly modified program, but is expected to take part in the JLT Series.

Jack Leslie: Back running after off-season knee surgery but still not participating in match simulation. That shouldn't be far away, though.

Intraclub: Metricon Stadium, Thursday, February 14, 3pm. Gold Coast will play Brisbane in a practice match on Saturday, February 23 at Metricon Stadium.

Playing AFLX: Jarrod Harbrow (Deadlys)

JLT schedule: Western Bulldogs, Mackay, Saturday March 3, 6.40pm AEST; Sydney, Oakes Oval, Lismore, Sunday March 10, 1.10pm AEDT. - Michael Whiting

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Pre-season in a nutshell

The Giants are in decent shape with big names such as Josh Kelly (hip and knee), Lachie Whitfield (knee), Heath Shaw (knee), Shane Mumford (hamstring) and Aidan Corr (groin) all back in full training, so they'll have a big list to pick from when the JLT Community Series starts. Whitfield, Shaw and Jeremy Finlayson have been taking the kick-ins.

Injury list

Brett Deledio: The veteran continues to work through his managed individual program but hasn't started full footy training. In immaculate shape, so won't take long to get into full flight.

Toby Greene: Running strongly and kicking the footy but still not in full training after an ankle issue. Conservative approach means JLT action is unlikely unless he progresses quickly from here.

Toby Greene is not yet in full training after an ankle issue. Picture: AFL Photos

Nick Haynes: The re-signed athletic defender has been on light duties since the Christmas break with back soreness and while there are no major concerns from the club, competitive matches are fast approaching.

Jon Patton: The power forward is flying on his way back from a knee reconstruction and has posted solid times in his rehab running. Heading to Philadelphia in March for some expert help.

Adam Tomlinson: The Giants' running man pinged his right calf in the final lap of the 2km time trail at the first session of the year but is back running and not far away from re-joining the main group.

Intraclub: Friday February 22, Tom Wills Oval, Homebush

Playing AFLX: Jeremy Cameron (Flyers), Stephen Coniglio (Flyers), Phil Davis (Rampage), Lachie Whitfield (Rampage)

JLT schedule: Sydney, Blacktown, Saturday March 2, 7.10pm AEDT; Adelaide, UNSW Oval, Friday March 8, 7.10pm AEDT. - Adam Curley

Pre-season in a nutshell

The Hawks offered a potential glimpse into midfield life without Tom Mitchell in match simulation last week. James Cousins and untried second-year player Harry Jones were given extended centre-square shifts, while Jarryd Roughead had stints in there as well. Recruit Jack Scrimshaw has been on limited duties for management reasons, but is set to play in next week's intraclub game, while Oliver Hanrahan and draftees Jacob Koschitzke and Mathew Walker are still restricted. Hawthorn was in Launceston on Thursday and Friday for its annual community camp, and a group of players, including Jarman Impey, are also in Katherine, Northern Territory, until Sunday.

Injury list

Grant Birchall:  Underwent the latest surgery on his right knee – this time to remove floating cartilage – in December but is ramping up his running. Birchall, who last played in round 15, 2017, still hopes to return in the early rounds of the season.

Luke Breust: Left the track early on Wednesday last week and subsequently skipped match simulation two days later, but was picked to play for Jack Riewoldt's 'Rampage' in AFLX next week.

Tom Mitchell:  The Brownlow medallist made an unlikely appearance at Waverley Park last week, only 19 days post-surgery to repair his broken left leg. He is walking without crutches, but his season is still in some doubt.

Tom Scully: Has increased his running intensity in his recovery from a serious ankle injury. However, there is no timeline for when the former Giant and Demon is aiming to play this year – other than wanting to at some stage.

Chad Wingard:  Wingard's done very little in recent times as he deals with calf tightness, but the fact he made himself available and was selected for AFLX suggests how minor it is.

Intraclub: Waverley Park, Wednesday February 13, 5pm AEDT

Playing AFLX: Luke Breust (Rampage), Isaac Smith (Rampage), Chad Wingard (Deadly)

JLT schedule: Brisbane, Moreton Bay Central Sports Complex, Sunday March 3, 12.40pm AEST; Richmond, University of Tasmania Stadium, Saturday, March 9, 7.10pm AEDT. - Marc McGowan

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Pre-season in a nutshell

Melbourne arrived back from its pre-season camp in Maroochydore on Tuesday afternoon, marking an important phase of the pre-season. The Demons have now entered game mode after a delayed start to the pre-season as a result of making it through to last year's preliminary final. Several players who had post-season surgeries have turned the corner in their recovery and will soon re-join full training ahead of the JLT Community Series. Apart from the obvious bonding benefits, the Demons used the camp to work on some tactical aspects of the game away from their very public home at Gosch's Paddock.

Injury list 

Oskar Baker: The youngster suffered a serious hamstring injury at the end of last season and as a result his rehab has been carefully laid out. Baker started joining training on the club's camp in Maroochydore and will look to increase his intensity in the coming weeks.

Mitch Hannan: Had a double arthroscope on his knee in the off-season and is slowly building his conditioning after the significant injury. Hannan will have to keep ticking off the sessions to be ready for the start of the year.

Nathan Jones: Jones has been on a modified program after experiencing some hamstring/back tightness around the Christmas period. Has been boxing and doing running in rehab but is yet to rejoin main training.

Kade Kolodjashnij: The Gold Coast recruit experienced some adductor soreness before the club's training camp to Maroochydore. Kolodjashnij was with the rehab group in Queensland and will be monitored carefully before he is given the tick of approval to progress his training.

Jake Lever: The star defender is making steady progress in his return from a torn anterior cruciate ligament after a minor setback in the nerve around his knee pre-Christmas. He could be back in full training in the next month, and although there's no official return date set, Lever is hopeful of being back playing before mid-season.

Steven May: The star defender injured his hamstring around the club's pre-season camp and has been ruled out of playing in AFLX and the first JLT Community Series game. Will be out of action for 3-4 weeks, with the club hopeful he'll be ready to play in JLT 2 and the start of the year.

Jake Melksham: Melksham has been hampered by a hamstring injury, similar to one he suffered last year. As a result, he has been carefully monitored and is yet to start back in full training.

Clayton Oliver: Oliver is almost ready to resume full training after surgery on both of his shoulders at the end of last season. The contact aspect of training is the next part of training for him to tick off.

Jack Viney: The co-captain's training load has been monitored closely after the injury issues he has battled over the last 18 months. Viney had post-season ankle surgery and the Demons have been keen to get quality sessions into him. Expected to be back in full training in the coming weeks.

Guy Walker: The Category B rookie had a procedure on his shoulder over the Christmas break which is projected to be a reasonably slow recovery.

Intraclub: Collingwood, Olympic Park Oval, February 22

Playing AFLX: Steven May (Deadly)*, Tom McDonald (Rampage) *May was originally drafted to Team Deadly but will miss AFLX due to injury.

JLT schedule: Richmond, Shepparton, Sunday March 3, 4.40pm AEDT; Brisbane Lions, Casey Fields, Saturday March 9, 4.10pm AEDT. - Ben Guthrie

Pre-season in a nutshell

North's list is in increasingly good shape with Robbie Tarrant, Ben Brown, Ed Vickers-Willis, Taylor Garner, Cameron Zurhaar and Declan Watson all rejoining the main training group since the Christmas break. The Roos' summer has again included a heavy load of match simulation, with youngsters Paul Ahern and Jy Simpkin, and experienced recruits Aaron Hall, Dom Tyson and Tom Campbell among the standout performers.

Injury list 

Joel Crocker: As expected, the father-son recruit has been spent his first summer at Arden St in the rehab group as he recovers from a syndesmosis injury. Yet to resume contact drills and will continue to be managed carefully.

Majak Daw: The key defender remains indefinitely sidelined after suffering serious hip and pelvis injuries in an incident on Melbourne's Bolte Bridge in December. North has not decided whether Daw will be placed on the long-term injury list, which would allow it to recruit a replacement player in the pre-season supplemental period or mid-season draft.

Sam Durdin: Returning from a broken right tibia suffered last July, the key defender has gradually increased his workload over summer and is on track to return to North's main group in two weeks.

Ben Jacobs: One of North's most valuable players, Jacobs has taken encouraging steps this summer as he returns from the lingering concussion-like symptoms and chronic sinusitis that derailed his 2018 season. The run-with midfielder has completed a strong running workload and some match practice sessions, but continues to be conservatively managed.

Ben Jacobs has taken some encouraging steps with his recovery from his 2018 woes. Picture: AFL Photos

Jasper Pittard: The former Port Adelaide defender's pre-season has been disrupted by a calf injury but he is expected to resume full training next week. Pittard will relish the chance to start jelling with his new teammates in match practice.

Will Walker: The second-year midfielder's recovery from the posterior cruciate ligament injury he suffered late last season has been slower than initially expected. With no timeframe in place for his return to main training, he could face a delayed start to the season.

Mason Wood: Made a strong start to the pre-season winning North's opening 2km time trial, but has been dogged recently by a calf injury. Should rejoin the main group next week.

Jack Ziebell: The Roos skipper returned to full training just before Christmas following minor knee surgery but calf niggles have since disrupted his preparation. Expected to return to full training within two weeks.

Intraclub: City v Country, Arden St Oval, Wednesday, February 13, 10.30am AEDT.  

Playing AFLX: Robbie Tarrant (Bolts), Shaun Higgins (Rampage)

JLT schedule: St Kilda, Avalon Airport Oval, Saturday March 2, 1.10pm AEDT; Port Adelaide, Alberton Oval, Saturday March 9, 12.40pm ACDT - Nick Bowen

FUTURE PICKS Who you should barrack against in 2019

Pre-season in a nutshell

There's been no shortage of headlines out of Alberton – Travis Boak relinquishing the captaincy, vice-captain Ollie Wines suffering a shoulder injury while wakeboarding and a video emerging of Jack Watts snorting a legal substance off a woman's chest at Oktoberfest. Off-field distractions aside, star forward Robbie Gray is easing back into training, while draftee Connor Rozee has been a standout during match simulation.

Injury list

Charlie Dixon: The key forward hasn't done much work on the track in his recovery from a fractured leg. Dixon looks like he could be in doubt for the start of the season.

Hamish Hartlett: Progressing nicely from a torn ACL sustained in April last year. Hartlett has returned to the main group and completing match simulation but has yet to resume contact work. Could play in the JLT Series.

Sam Hayes: The young ruckman is building up his training and strength in his knee after rupturing the ACL in his knee in June last year. Hayes is getting through plenty of running and could return mid-year.

Aidyn Johnson: The medium forward has been in the rehab group for the past couple of weeks managing a toe injury, but isn't in doubt for the JLT Series.

Trent McKenzie: Getting closer to returning to the main group after having shoulder surgery in late November. The defender could be available for the JLT Series.

Ollie Wines: The vice-captain had arthroscopic surgery on his right shoulder after a wakeboarding accident on Australia Day. Wines is likely to miss at least the first couple of rounds of the season.

Intraclub: Alberton Oval, Friday, February 15, 5pm. A Power under-23 team will play Adelaide's under-23s on Saturday, February 23 at Thebarton Oval.

Playing AFLX: Travis Boak (Flyers), Robbie Gray (Bolts), Sam Powell-Pepper (Deadly).

JLT schedule: Adelaide, The Memorial Oval, Port Pirie, Saturday March 2, 3.40pm ACDT; North Melbourne, Alberton Oval, Saturday March 9, 12.40pm ACDT. - Lee Gaskin

Pre-season in a nutshell

There haven't been any major changes to Richmond's pre-season compared to years past. The biggest alteration has probably been moving the training camp from the Sunshine Coast to the Gold Coast (complete with a trip to Dreamworld), in the interests of changing routine. The injury list may look on the longer side of things, but there are no real long-term concerns. Midfielders Riley Collier-Dawkins, Jack Ross and forward Mav Weller have been the picks of the recruits on the training track. The answer to the most-asked question at Tigerland this summer is that big signing Tom Lynch is tracking well.

Injury list 

Jason Castagna: Going well in his recovery from a high ankle sprain that saw him wearing a moonboot on the club's training camp. Completing running drills away from the main group,  and the club is pleased with how he is progressing. About a week away from returning to full training.

Ryan Garthwaite: Has had a niggling Achilles issue which has impacted his pre-season somewhat. Slowly recovering, is running well but rotating in and out of the main group.

Jack Graham: Nearly back to full training after a left shoulder reconstruction post-season. Doing everything except for select contact drills and is training without strapping on the affected area.

Dylan Grimes: Suffered an unfortunate broken nose at training three weeks ago. Has not affected his training much at all, except for the addition of an interesting protective mask over his face, which he is still wearing.

Tom Lynch: Slowly but surely progressing after surgery on his right PCL and a subsequent clean-up surgery for scar tissue. Club is taking things cautiously with the star recruit. Still doing running drills on the side on occasion, but also joining in with the main training group and moving well.

Jacob Townsend: Has recovered from a fractured lower fibula/ankle which ruled him out of Richmond's finals campaign, but is not quite at full training due to some thigh soreness.

Intraclub: TBC

Playing AFLX: Jack Higgins (Flyers), Alex Rance (Flyers), Jack Riewoldt (Rampage, captain)

JLT schedule: Melbourne, Deakin Reserve Shepparton, Sunday March 3, 4.40pm AEDT; Hawthorn, UTAS Stadium Launceston, Saturday March 9, 7.10pm AEDT. - Sarah Black

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Pre-season in a nutshell

Keeping the environment positive has been a theme, whether that's by pumping teammates up, reinforcing the importance of celebrating goals or embracing the enthusiasm brought by assistant coaching additions Brett Ratten and Brendon Lade. One example saw several assistants race at the end of a training session. Several players have had their training loads restricted at times, including Jack Steven, Dan Hannebery and Jimmy Webster, but all are fit. Gun backman Dylan Roberton has returned to full training after his heart issue and is on track for round one.

Injury list

Logan Austin: The defender had overcome his groin problem but suffered a shoulder injury during match simulation recently. He's expected to be out of the main group for about a fortnight.

Jack Bytel: It's unlikely the draftee will be seen this year. He had back surgery to fix a bulging disc earlier this month and the Saints won't rush the tough onballer.

Back surgery for Jack Bytel means the young draftee is unlikely to be seen this year. Picture: AFL Photos

Jake Carlisle: A back flare-up before Christmas has stuck around and there isn't a definitive timeline for when he'll return to the main group. He had been on a limited training load early in pre-season, so the important backman hasn't done much work yet. 

Doulton Langlands: Hamstring surgery set the rookie back and he continues to run laps. He's returned to kicking drills and should be back in full training over the next fortnight.

Max King: A right knee reconstruction last April means the tall forward isn't back with the main group yet, although he's begun doing drills. There's no desperation from St Kilda to get King back by the standard 12-month recovery period. He's been nicknamed 'Winx' because he chews up the turf with his enormous strides.

Bailey Rice: Hamstring soreness had confined the defender to laps as he built his conditioning back up, but Rice has returned to full training.

Intraclub: RSEA Park, Saturday, February 23, 10.30am AEDT

Playing AFLX: Jack Billings (Bolts), Tim Membrey (Rampage), Jack Steele (Bolts), Jade Gresham (Deadly)

JLT schedule: North Melbourne, Chirnside Park, Saturday, March 2, 1.10pm AEDT; Western Bulldogs, Mars Stadium, Sunday, March 10, 4.10pm AEDT. - Dinny Navaratnam

Pre-season in a nutshell

The Swans had a host of players in for surgery both in the off-season and late last year, but most of them are close to returning to full training. Recruit Jackson Thurlow has done some of the kicking-in in match simulation and looks set to play in defence, while Callum Mills and Tom Papley have been training as midfielders over summer.

Injury list

Lance Franklin: The superstar is back running strongly after groin surgery and will steadily increase his training load over the next month. The Swans say they won't take any chances on Franklin and he will play when he's ready.

Kieren Jack: Still not back to full training but doing a power of light skill work including running and boxing. Shouldn't be far away from pulling the boots on.

Zak Jones: The speedster is another doing plenty of boxing and cross training, but is yet to return to the main group on a full-time basis. Another Swan coming back from surgery.

Matthew Ling: Still battling the effects of last year's toe injury and on a managed program. The Swans will remain conservative with the highly-rated youngster.

Jake Lloyd: Last year's club champion returned to full training this week after a hip issue and is running strongly. 

Dan Menzel: Slowly making his way back from groin surgery, Menzel is in his second week of running and is ready to ramp up fitness work. Unlikely to feature in JLT.

Sam Naismith: Coming back from last year's ACL surgery, he's running and on the track which is a positive sign. Won't be rushed back.

Nick Smith: Smith is participating in light skills and has done a lot of fitness running on his return from a hamstring. He should return to full skill training next week.

Durak Tucker: The West Australian rookie looks in great shape on his way back from a knee reconstruction and is running strongly. Unlikely to play any games before the season proper.

Intraclub: Friday February 22, Henson Park, Marrickville

Playing AFLX: Aliir Aliir (Flyers), Isaac Heeney (Flyers), Josh Kennedy (Flyers), Luke Parker (Bolts)

JLT schedule: Greater Western Sydney, Blacktown, Saturday March 2, 7.10pm AEDT; Brisbane, Oakes Oval, Lismore, Sunday March 10, 1.10pm AEDT. - Adam Curley

WHO MAKES FINALS? Do the 2019 Ladder Predictor

Pre-season in a nutshell

The Eagles are ramping up their match practice and trialling the rule changes ahead of an intraclub on February 22. Several big-name players are building towards the JLT Community Series after carefully managed summers, while spots are up for grabs in the forward line to replace Jamie Cripps (toe) and Mark LeCras (retired) in round one.

Injury list

Brayden Ainsworth: Has been on an individual program after being forced to undergo a second bout of finger surgery, which should improve his inconsistent ball drop. Hopes to be available for JLT.

Tom Barrass: Is ramping up after a foot problem slowed his start to the summer. Completed everything at training on Wednesday and should get some match practice before round one. 

Jarrod Cameron: Suffered a fractured toe before he was drafted when his foot was run over and was away from the main group completing straight-line running work this week. Unlikely to be a candidate for Cripps or LeCras' roles early in 2019.

Jamie Cripps: Seems certain to miss the season-opener and possibly several rounds after that having been forced to go under the knife to repair a lingering toe issue. His absence will be a big blow to an inexperienced forward line.

Josh Kennedy: The Eagles are confident the dual Coleman medallist will be ready to take part in the JLT Community Series after post-season shoulder surgery. Wasn't sighted at training this week. 

The Eagles says spearhead Josh Kennedy will be right for the JLT Community Series. Picture: AFL Photos

Jeremy McGovern: Making encouraging progress from rib surgery two weeks ago and is back in skills training with an eye on the pre-season games. Won't be in contact training for at least another week.

Xavier O'Neill: West Coast's top draftee looked like he was settling into the AFL lifestyle well before Christmas but has been slowed by a knee problem which will keep him out of games until about round one.

Daniel Venables: Hopeful of featuring in the pre-season matches but has endured another summer of restricted training due to knee surgery. Currently getting miles into the legs and appears to have turned a corner but needs smooth progress to be in the mix for round one.

Jake Waterman: Avoided a serious ankle injury after going over during the Eagles' weekly indoor session on a basketball court. Was off his crutches and back walking around Lathlain Park on Wednesday.

Elliot Yeo: Took part in full training on Wednesday after a huge session last Friday and looks to be timing his return from toe surgery to get back for round one, at least, if not some part of the JLT Community Series. 

Intraclub: Location TBC, February 22.

Playing AFLX: Andrew Gaff (Bolts), Lewis Jetta (Deadly), Willie Rioli (Deadly)

JLT schedule: Geelong, Leederville Oval, Friday March 1, 4.10 AWST; Fremantle, Mandurah, Sunday March 10, 4.10pm AWST – Travis King

Pre-season in a nutshell

Back from a training camp in Mooloolaba with a largely healthy list. Veteran Matt Suckling is being managed through light sessions after his Achilles soreness, while Hawthorn premiership teammate Taylor Duryea has been training as a defender after time forward last year. Tom Liberatore, entering on a one-year contract, appears a certain starter for the season opener. The Dogs will visit Warrnambool for their AFL Community Camp after their second JLT Community Series match.

Injury list  

Tom Boyd: Looks set to miss round one as he attempts to overcome a back injury that has re-surfaced from late last season. Has completed straight-line running away from teammates this week.

Jason Johannisen: Having overcome post-season hip surgery, the dashing defender succumbed to an ankle injury during Friday's intra club. Will be out of training for an indefinite period. 

Bailey Smith: Nursed through the early stages of his first pre-season with Achilles soreness, now working back to full drills in order to put his hand up for round one. 

Liam Picken: Still experiencing headaches from the concussion symptoms that ruled him out of the entire 2018 campaign. Has been clocking up long days on the track and been involved in most sessions outside of contested drills.

Lukas Webb: Relieved of a neck brace late last month that had been in place since a heavy collision in July last year. Appears sharp on the training track and hopes to be back in full contact drills in coming weeks. 

Intraclub: TBC 

Playing AFLX: Marcus Bontempelli (Flyers), Lachie Hunter (Flyers), Easton Wood (Rampage)

JLT schedule: Gold Coast, Mackay, Sunday March 3, 6.40pm AEST; St Kilda, Ballarat, Sunday March 10, 4.10pm AEDT. - Mitch Cleary

The views in this article are those of the author and not necessarily those of the AFL or its clubs