BROWNLOW medallists Lachie Neale and Patrick Dangerfield are eyeing off post-bye returns as they recover strongly from respective ankle surgeries.
Brisbane midfield ace Neale trained with the Lions' main group on Tuesday, although he didn't participate in every drill.
He ran steadily, if not at top pace, and kicked entirely off his left foot – the opposite side to the one he had surgery on.
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Despite his gradual build-up to full training, Neale remains on track to return eight weeks after his injury sustained against Carlton in round six.
If the planets align, he is still an outside chance of lining up in the round 12 Friday night fixture against Melbourne in Alice Springs, although with the bye to follow, round 14 against North Melbourne appears the more likely option.
Dangerfield is following a similar timeline after injuring his ankle against North Melbourne in round five, in an incident he initially thought was minor.
The 31-year-old is also on track to play at the eight-week mark after surgery, with Geelong's round 11 match against Collingwood at the MCG on Saturday to be followed by a bye in round 12.
Dangerfield would then be in line for a return against Port Adelaide in a Thursday night round 13 blockbuster at Adelaide Oval – a rematch of the 2020 qualifying final won by Port.
It's been a disrupted season for the 2016 Brownlow medallist, who was suspended for three matches following an opening-round high bump on Adelaide's Jake Kelly, before suffering the injury on return against the Kangaroos.
Another injured Brownlow medallist, Richmond skipper Trent Cotchin, is set to return for Sunday's match against Adelaide at the MCG after missing three matches with a hamstring injury.
Cotchin just needs to get through the Tigers' main training session this week to put his hand up for selection against the Crows.