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Melbourne Football Club

Gawn trimmed to the Max

MELBOURNE ruckman Max Gawn has stripped weight off his frame and could be set to recapture his best form and take 2018 by storm. 

Courtesy of dedicated holiday training regime and disciplined diet, the 25-year-old has returned to the club a trimmed-down version of the ruckman who managed just 13 games this season. 

A club spokesperson confirmed on Monday that Gawn had worked on his fitness over his break while he spent time in the US after he attended teammate Bernie Vince's wedding in South Australia. 

Commentator Tim Watson ran into Gawn in New York last week, and said the 2016 All Australian was a picture of fitness.

"Max Gawn was over there and I’ll tell you what, if you're a Melbourne fan, you'd be very excited about what Maxy might produce next year," Watson told SEN on Monday morning.

"I have never seen a big fella, a ruckman, who looked as fit as what he looked.

"He had a singlet on and had just come back from a training session and he has been training the house down."

Gawn missed nearly three months this season after surgery to repair a hamstring tendon he tore in round three.

He recently signed a three-year contract extension that ties him to the club until the end of 2021.

While Gawn has shed weight, young Demons ruckman Mitch King has piled on 5-6 kilos and is impressing in time trials.   

The 20-year-old, who is yet to make his AFL debut and has endured two knee reconstructions, has started summer training stronger and fitter after a promising VFL campaign this year.

The younger Demons started training last week with the rest of the list to return next Monday.

Young forward Jesse Hogan is one of the players due to start pre-season next week, with the 22-year-old expected to slot straight into the main group on arrival. 

But Jack Viney and Tom McDonald will have to wait a little longer to ramp things up with the bulk of the team. 

Viney spent a month after the season with his problematic foot in a moon boot after he developed soreness towards the end of the season. 

The 23-year-old had surgery to repair a plantar fascia injury back in July, but remarkably missed just two games. 

He returned in round 18, but the foot gradually became sore in another spot as he subconsciously changed his running style slightly to compensate for the injury.

He missed the final two games, but the club believes the moon boot treatment has worked and he won't require further surgery.

Viney – and Tom McDonald, who underwent clean outs on both ankles – are expected to be included in the main group in December.

However, Dean Kent will be among those in the rehab group up until Christmas, after August surgery to repair his left shoulder. 

The Demons will head to Maroochydore for another Sunshine Coast pre-season camp in January.