GREATER Western Sydney has been boosted by some positive injury news, with big man Tim Mohr on target for a round-one return from a knee reconstruction.
The 196cm key defender's horror run with knee and foot injuries last season plummeted to a new low in round 17 when he tore the ACL in his left knee.
But the 26-year-old is on track to make his comeback in the Giants' season-opener against St Kilda on April 5 at Etihad Stadium.
"Tim Mohr's looking to come back early in the season – he's probably looking to play round one actually," Giants co-captain Callan Ward told SEN on Tuesday.
Mohr is further advanced in his recovery than key forward Jonathan Patton, who tore his ACL in his right knee for the second time in round 21.
Patton has been ahead of schedule in his rehabilitation, but Ward said the former No.1 draft pick is unlikely to return to action until "probably half way through the season".
Mohr's progress is a boost for the Giants, who have lost defender Lachie Plowman (dislocated elbow) and small forward Liam Sumner (navicular) for the start of the home-and-away season.
But the majority of the Giants' list is healthy and the ambitious club is eyeing a jump up the ladder in its fourth AFL season after it won six games in coach Leon Cameron's first year in charge.
"Hopefully we can win enough games to play finals, that's probably our goal," Ward said.
"But at the moment it's just tough training in the pre-season and looking forward to playing (NAB Challenge) games in two months' time."
Ward said he has completed every session so far this pre-season for the first time since he was drafted by the Western Bulldogs with pick No.19 overall in 2007.
The star midfielder played his first four seasons alongside Ryan Griffen at the Whitten Oval, with the pair now reunited after the former Bulldogs captain's shock trade to the Giants.
"I had no idea whatsoever that he was coming – I didn't even know that he was keen to leave the Bulldogs," Ward said.
"I just updated my AFL Live App on my phone and saw 'Griffen has left the Bulldogs and wants to come to the Giants'. That was the first time I saw it.
"I called him straight away and said, 'What's going on, mate? I've just read the article'.
"He's been really good, he's really enjoying Sydney. He loves training, I think he loves all the boys and he's been terrific for us already."