DYSON Heppell has run for the first time since an arthroscopy on his knee two weeks ago and is now "on track" for round one.

Essendon doctor Bruce Reid, told essendonfc.com.au Heppell was still in doubt for the season opener against the Sydney Swans on April 4, but Monday's walk and jog was a big step forward.

"There'd be a slight doubt on Dyson," Dr Reid said.

"He's started running today, admittedly it's just a walk-jog, and he's pain free, so he's on track.

"We'll have a pretty good answer for that next week."

The 22-year-old is coming off his best AFL season to date, earning his first All Australian selection and winning his first Crichton Medal as Essendon's best and fairest.

Essendon will already be shorthanded for the Swans match, with Heath Hocking (groin) and Nick Kommer (knee) ruled out.

After struggling to return from pre-season surgery on both groins, Reid said Hocking would "definitely" be out, while Kommer had started running and made a big step forward, but would not be fit enough.