BROWNLOW medallist Tom Mitchell banished any thoughts of his injured AC joint hampering his preparations with an early return to Hawthorn's pre-season training on Monday.
Mitchell reported for duty at Xavier College, in Kew, just a day after arriving back in Australia from a five-week holiday in Mexico, the United States and United Kingdom – and a full fortnight before he's expected back.
FULL FIXTURE Every round, every game
The 25-year-old midfielder had surgery after hurting his AC joint in the season-ending finals loss to Melbourne, but he looked unimpeded taking part in drills with his younger teammates.
"I obviously just got back from overseas and had a good holiday, so I feel like I've freshened up both physically and mentally," Mitchell told hawthornfc.com.au.
"I just got back yesterday from London, so I'm feeling a bit jetlagged, but there's no better way to blow the cobwebs out than to go for a run with the young boys, so it was good.
"I'm feeling pretty good. Obviously, I had shoulder surgery at the end of the year, but that's fully recovered.
"I've been running for a good month or so now, so I'm feeling pretty fit and strong and I'm ready to attack the whole pre-season."
Mitchell managed to become a more damaging footballer in 2018, improving his numbers in kicks (16.2), contested possessions (16.2), clearances (eight), inside 50s (4.9) and metres gained (446.3).
He wants to take his game to an even higher level next year.
"(My goals are) probably no different to any other year," Mitchell said.
"I want to get better again … and I'll sit down with the coaches and identify a few areas.
"(I also want to) bring some younger guys along for the ride and help improve some guys like (James) Worpel and Harry Morrison, so I'm looking forward to helping all those guys as well."
James Sicily, Dan Howe and ex-St Kilda recruit Darren Minchington were the other Hawks who trained on Monday that were not required to.
The first-to-fourth-year players are off to Papua New Guinea on Tuesday to walk the Kokoda Track.