MELBOURNE'S Mitch Clark will undergo surgery on Wednesday to remove the staples from his injured foot as he continues to recover from a Lisfranc injury suffered midway through 2012.
The surgery is a scheduled part of Clark's rehabilitation process and another positive indication that he remains on course for an early season return.
Melbourne football manager Josh Mahoney said it was another step along the pathway for Clark and would put him in a good position when training resumed after the Christmas break.
"We don't expect any difference to his timelines from here on," Mahoney said.
"After a couple of weeks of strength training over Christmas, he'll be able to resume running."
Clark was the shining light in the first half of the season in 2012 before injury struck in round 13. He kicked 29 goals in 11 games.
He attended the team's training camp in Darwin last week, running with the rehabilitation group, kicking the football and walking about 10 kilometres in Kakadu National Park.
Speaking in Darwin last Tuesday, Clark told AFL.com.au he was beginning to find the rhythm in his running returning and he hoped to be available for senior selection in round one.
"I'm feeling a bit more like a footballer," Clark said.
After surgery on the foot in June, Clark was bedridden for a fortnight and wore a moonboot for eight weeks. He began strength training before resuming running on a treadmill in October.
He progressed to running on grass about a month ago and recently increased the number of running sessions per week from two to three.
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