After missing the entire 2014 season with a ruptured Achilles tendon, Nathan Van Berlo is itching to return in 2015. It has been a long road for the Crows skipper, who resumed running in July last year, but it hasn't taken him long to regain fitness. The 28-year-old claimed honours in the club's first 2km time trial of the pre-season in November last year, and was just edged out on Monday by Sam Kerridge in the Crow's first post-Christmas training session. Defender Andy Otten isn't expected to play this season after rupturing his ACL in August last year, while defender Sam Shaw had hamstring surgery in the off-season and isn't expected to resume full training until the end of March. – Nat Edwards

After missing all-but three matches last season, Daniel Rich is recovering strongly from the ACL surgery to his left knee. The lethal left footer is back to full fitness and has been integrated into most of the Lions' full team drills. He is expected to play pre-season matches and be available for round 1. Ruckman Matthew Leuenberger also missed a majority of 2014 with a meniscus injury, and the club has decided to modify his training. Leuenberger is 100 per cent healthy though and everything being equal, will play pre-season matches. Versatile Brent Staker (calf) is in the same boat after missing all of last season, but has trained strongly so far, and along with midfielder Jack Redden (ankle), who missed the back end of the year, should also be fully fit for the beginning of the NAB Challenge. Star recruit Allen Christensen still has a slight question mark over him after undergoing back surgery. Christensen has made good progress and is hopeful of being available for the opening round of the season. Trent West is recovering well following surgery for his ruptured ACL, but is not expected to play until midway through the season. – Michael Whiting 

A rejuvenated Matthew Kreuzer will be like a new recruit for the Blues in 2015. The injury-plagued ruckman managed just one game, the opening round, last season before being sidelined with a foot injury. But since returning to full training, the big man has set the track alight. Kreuzer was named trainer of the week just before the Christmas break and is expected to play in the NAB Challenge. Meanwhile former Giant Kristian Jaksch resumed running just before Christmas and is currently on a modified training program after being diagnosed with a stress reaction in the navicular bone in his left foot in mid-November. He is expected to rejoin the main group at the end of the January. The Blues are continuing to take a conservative approach with Cameron Giles as he recovers from a serious foot injury. – Nat Edwards

Matthew Kreuzer has been training the house down. Picture: AFL Media

It's no surprise to see All Australian defender Ben Reid back on the injury list. The luckless big man had been a week out from resuming full training after playing just four games in 2014, when he injured his 'good' left calf in December. Reid has now been sent to Germany in search of answers to his ongoing soft-tissue problems. A return to training is unknown at this stage. Star midfielder Dane Swan is on a modified program and is continuing to regain fitness following hip surgery in the off-season. Tagger Brent Macaffer is still hopeful of a round one return following a knee reconstruction, while a more cautious approach will continue to be taken with youngster Matthew Scharenberg who also ruptured his ACL late last season. – Nat Edwards

After an impressive debut season in 2013, utility Nick Kommer was forced to spend last year on the sidelines as he battled through a patella tendon injury. Eventually it was operated on and while the 24-year-old was back running in December, the club will continue to take a conservative approach with no timeframe set on a return to full training. Despite having surgery on his groin just before Christmas, Heath Hocking is still in contention to play round one. He will miss six weeks of pre-season training in 2015 but the club is hopeful he will be fit in time for the season proper. Meanwhile luckless Bomber Tayte Pears is set to increase his training load in January after Achilles surgery just before the end of last season. In some good news, ruckman Tom Bellchambers has returned to full training following a second ankle surgery in the off-season, while Alex Browne is set to be available for the NAB Challenge following a knee reconstruction in February last year. – Nat Edwards

AFLPA MVP Nat Fyfe was the big concern for Fremantle late last year with the star midfielder injuring his shoulder just before the International Rules series in November. He had a minor clean out on his AC joint and is due to return to full contact training in January. The same applies to Garrick Ibbotson and Max Duffy, who both had shoulder surgery in the off-season. Midfielder Colin Sylvia had an ankle clean out to relieve an impingement on his calf muscle and was on restricted duties before Christmas, while Anthony Morabito will continue to be nursed cautiously through the pre-season after injuring his knee in September. – Nat Edwards

Nat Fyfe working hard in the gym following shoulder surgery. Picture: AFL Media

The Cats are optimistic both Daniel Menzel and Nathan Vardy can have an impact in 2015. Menzel is cautiously targeting an early season return from his fourth knee reconstruction, while Vardy – who tore his ACL in February last year – is on track for a NAB Challenge berth. Ruckmen Dawson Simpson (back)and Hamish McIntosh (knee) both had operations at the end of last year and have been eased through this pre-season. Young forward Shane Kersten also had minor knee surgery at the start of the off-season and has also been managed carefully so far this summer. Lincoln McCarthy is out indefinitely with a flaring foot issue, while Jackson Thurlowwho lacerated his kidney at training at the end of 2014 – should be right to go at the start of the season. – Ben Guthrie

It's good news for captain Gary Ablett who is progressing strongly following surgery to the left shoulder he dislocated against Collingwood in round 16. The dual Brownlow medalist is back to running at 95 per cent capacity and is expected to resume contact work in the new year. Ablett had nursed his shoulder through the early part of pre-season, but prior to the Christmas break, was taking part in a number of team ball movement drills. Ruckmen Tom Nicholls (knee and calf) and Zac Smith (ankle surgery) started behind the eight-ball but are now doing well. Nicholls did his first 2km time trial just before the break and will rejoin the main group in the New Year, while Smith is already back in the main group. Jaeger O'Meara has no timeframe on his progression following surgery to both knees in November, but the Suns are confident he will be available come round 1. New recruit Mitch Hallahan had ankle surgery in the off-season and has now taken part in his first skills session, which should progress quickly when training resumes. Small forwards Aaron Hall and Brandon Matera both had groin surgery, with Hall a long-term proposition who has no timeframe for return, while Matera is hopeful of ramping up his rehab in the coming months to be available for pre-season matches.  Michael Whiting

Key forward Jonathon Patton and big defender Tim Mohr are on similar timelines as they recover from knee reconstructions. Patton's knee has healed superbly since he went under the knife in August and he was back running outside in November, after previously being restricted to the treadmill and gym sessions. The 21-year-old went down in round 21 against Melbourne and, wary of returning to soon from his second reconstruction, an exact date hasn't been established for his return to action. Ditto for Mohr, who suffered his knee injury in July. Liam Sumner is the other Giant expected to miss the start of 2015 due to a navicular stress fracture in his right foot, sustained last month. Sumner will be in a moon boot until at least the end of January. – Travis King 

Luckless utility Brendan Whitecross is on track for a return to action early next season, most likely at VFL level, as he continues his recovery from a second knee reconstruction. Whitecross suffered the injury in the 2013 preliminary final and was pushing to return late last season before his rehabilitation stalled slightly. He was ruled out for the remainder of the Hawks' campaign in July, with the club opting to take a safety-first approach. The 24-year-old is now champing at the bit to make his comeback, having completed a solid training block in the lead-up to Christmas. Talented midfielder Jed Anderson, who has been back in full training mode since day one of pre-season, has set his sights on playing round one. Anderson failed to play a senior game in 2014 due to a left shoulder injury suffered in March, which required season-ending surgery. He was back running while his teammates prepared for finals and was given the all-clear to join in full-contact drills when pre-season kicked off. – Travis King

Melbourne enters 2015 boasting a relatively clean bill of health, but how dearly the Demons must be wishing for midfielder Jack Trengove to finally overcome his navicular problems and Jesse Hogan to get a clear run at the big time. Trengove re-aggravated the left foot injury in October, just weeks after he resumed running outdoors. The 23-year-old only played the first two matches last season and a timeline for his return to action remains up in the air. Trengove is adamant he will be back playing AFL again, however he has admitted next season could be a write-off, depending how the injury heals, and he won't rush his comeback. Meanwhile, Hogan has excited Dees supporters with his pre-season training efforts after he missed all of last season due to a back injury. Hogan's strong running and competitive instinct have made him a standout on the track, with Melbourne fans hoping the hyped key forward is fit to make his long-awaited debut in round one. – Travis King 

Boom youngster Jesse Hogan has been an impressive performer in pre-season. Picture: AFL Media

Injury-plagued Robbie Tarrant is being handled with kid gloves as he makes his way back from leg surgery. Tarrant only played one AFL and one VFL match last season before he was diagnosed with a tibia stress reaction. The talented 196cm big man moved well at pre-season training in mid-December, stretching out close to top gear in straight-line running exercises away from the main group. He has moved onto lateral movement drills now the Roos have returned from their Christmas break. Key defender Joel Tippett beefed up by six kilograms during the post-season break in his bid to nail down a spot in North's best 22. The recently elevated rookie tore his pectoral against Geelong in round 10 and fell just short of returning for the preliminary final loss, but is set to pick up where he left off. Meanwhile, first-round draft pick Taylor Garner has progressed to high intensity straight-line running following hip surgery. Garner's 2014 was ruined by repeat hamstring injuries, with the decision made in August to cut his season short without him playing an AFL match. The 21-year-old has been running since pre-season kicked-off in November and is on track to be available for round one barring any setbacks. – Travis King

Perhaps it is testament to the Powers' elite conditioning – combined with a healthy slice of good fortune – that the club had very few long-term injury concerns heading into another gruelling pre-season. Five players went under the surgeon's knife at the end of the last campaign – Angus Monfries (hip), Brad Ebert (shoulder), Jay Schulz (shoulder), Aaron Young (shoulder) and Matt White (groin) – but all were back in action for a return to summer training. The Power ramped up its pre-Christmas training to even higher levels than the previous two seasons under fitness guru Darren Burgess when they travelled to Dubai, and Ken Hinkley's men are in top shape early in the New Year as they eye an assault on the 2015 flag. – Travis King 

Important defender David Astbury will be a welcome addition for the Tigers next season after a dislocated kneecap ended his 2014 campaign prematurely in round nine. Astbury returned to play one VFL match at the end of last year and is in the midst of a full summer program. The 195cm backman was one of Richmond's only injury concerns towards the end of last year, although Matt Thomas (knee) is yet to rejoin the main group after post-season surgery. – Travis King

The Saints had an extensive injury list at the end of the 2014 season, but that list has diminished significantly. Shane Savage (arm), Eli Templeton (arm), Jarryn Geary (calf), Tom Lee (shoulder), Jack Billings (hamstring), Blake Acres (quad), Daniel Markworth (hamstring), Luke Delaney (hip surgery), Jimmy Webster (foot fractures), Josh Bruce (shin surgery), Tom Curren (groin surgery) and Luke Dunstan (shoulder) are all back in full training. Arryn Siposs is still six weeks away from starting his rehab after re-injuring his shoulder in December. Tom Hickey (knee) is four to six weeks away from joining in full training, while Sam Gilbert (foot) is aiming to be available for round one. Brodie Murdoch (back) is on a modified program, while Jack Lonie (ankle) will resume training in late January. – Ben Guthrie

Eli Templeton is back in full training after missing most of 2014 with a broken arm. Picture: AFL Media


A number of senior Swans have upped the ante in their pre-season campaigns after rejoining full training after the Christmas break. Adam Goodes (knee), Mike Pyke (knee), Sam Reid (knee) and Craig Bird (knee) have all returned to the training track after limited preparations following off-season surgeries. Reid, in particular, impressed in the Swans' 3km time trial on Monday. Ruckman Tom Derickx has also not missed a beat after returning to training in November. Derickx, who managed 12 games in his first season with the Swans in 2014, suffered a season-ending hamstring injury in July last year but is well on his way to being fit to start this season. Star forwards Lance Franklin and Kurt Tippett have also increased their workloads since starting back at training on Monday. In good news for the Swans, youngster Lloyd Perris is making some strong progress in his return from a torn ACL early last season. – Ben Guthrie

Eagles best and fairest winner Eric Mackenzie has returned to training in top nick following post-season hip surgery. The gun backman posted a blistering time in the club's 2km time trail on Monday in stifling conditions. Mark LeCras, who had a plate removed from his twice fractured arm, is also back in full training and appears to be in top shape. Matt Rosa (torn pec)and Xavier Ellis remain in the rehab group, but both have made steady progress and are on track for the start of the season. Star backman Beau Waters (shoulder) has been impressive at training, while Nic Naitanui (groins)showed in the recent International Rules Series that he is fit and firing. Sharrod Wellingham (knee)and Brad Sheppard (ankle)are back in full training, while Jeremy McGovern (hip) is due back to full training by the end of January. Callum Sinclair (finger) and Elliot Yeo (hand) are both training away from the main group, with Yeo expected back in full training in February. Scott Selwood (ankle)and Jack Darling (foot) have been restricted to light duties, with Darling awaiting the results of scans after spending time in a moonboot. – Ben Guthrie

The Bulldogs' most expensive recruit Tom Boyd was confined to running laps in early December after a bout of appendicitis in his first week at the club. He returned to full training after the Christmas break, only to dislocate a finger in his right hand on Thursday. A minor setback that shouldn't see him miss much football if any. Defenders Fletcher Roberts and Jordan Roughead have resumed full training after shoulder reconstructions at the end of last season, while Matt Fuller has also returned to full contact training. The only long-term prospect on the Dogs' injury list is Clay Smith. The midfielder ruptured the ACL in his right knee for a second time last season but is on track to return to competitive football mid-year after resuming running in November. – Nat Edwards