ELITE performance manager Dave Misson says Melbourne is in a good position, in regards to its post-season surgeries.

Key defender/forward Tom McDonald has had already had one operation on his right ankle and will soon have his left one done, Misson explained.

“It was unusual for us. We had a lot of surgeries in-season, so our guys actually don’t need a lot of surgery at the end [of the season],” he told melbournefc.com.au.  

“We had Gawny (Max Gawn), Patty McKenna, Joel Smith and Dean Kent all having surgery in-season and Colin Garland [early in the year].

“So, the only one coming up at our end of season medicals was Tom McDonald.”

In summarising the season’s injuries, Misson looks at the players who finished the season on the injury list …

Lochie Filipovic: Lochie did some running on the AlterG [Anti-Gravity] Treadmill [last Friday morning] at about 90 per cent. He’s another week or so from running outside, but things are tracking well with his hip. He’s looking to have a big pre-season.

Colin Garland: Garlo is really going well with his knee. He’s out running doing good work in the gym and he’s looking pretty good for the pre-season.

Jesse Hogan: Jesse, with that hamstring [injury], was pretty close to coming back and actually playing again after half-time [against Collingwood in round 23]. He wasn’t really confident with his flat-out sprinting, so he didn’t want to risk that. He would’ve been pretty close top playing [in the first week of the finals], if we had have made it. With Jesse, our program for the first three weeks is an active rest period anyway, so that’ll allow that hamstring to essentially heal. He’ll really just go into a normal off-season program, so that’ll be OK.

Dean Kent: Kenty is improving his range in that shoulder and doing a fair bit of strength work. He’s not far away from being able to start running and that’s one advantage of having a shoulder injury – you can do a lot of running. Again, he’s earmarked the off-season and pre-season to really get himself in good nick.

Tom McDonald: He’s actually having a scope on both ankles, so he’s had his right one done last week and his left one will be done at the end of this week. So, that’s just a typical arthroscope for the ankle – just cleaning up some bone spurs, so we expect that he’ll be back full training before Christmas hopefully.”

Pat McKenna: Paddy had a really good session [last Friday]. He ran virtually flat out, so we’re at a point with Paddy, where we’re just going to hand him the normal off-season program and he’s going to do that. He’s going to need one or two weeks in rehab when the group comes back. It’s more to assess where he’s at with his hamstring strength – to make sure that everything’s going OK and then he’ll really be back with the main group, a couple of weeks into the pre-season.

Joel Smith: Joel’s walking around, so he’s off the crutches with that knee [injury]. It’ll be a little bit of time – probably another three to four weeks – before he starts to run and really puts some load through it. But he’s tracking well.

Tim Smith: He’s still in the boot and he’s been able to throw the crutches away. The navicular is a pretty important bone in the foot and it can go south if you start loading it too quickly. Again, we’ll take a little bit more time with Tim to make sure that bone is really strong again before we start loading it.

Aaron vandenBerg: I was with Aaron [last Friday] and he was doing his last session on the [AlterG] Anti-Gravity Treadmill, running about 90 per cent body weight. So, his next session on Monday is out on the grass. He’s going really well. He’s noticed a big difference since the operation. The pain he was getting in his foot continually over a 12-month period disappeared, so we’re really happy with where he’s at. He’s excited to hopefully be able to attack a pre-season pain free, so he’s going well.

Jack Viney: Jack would’ve really been touch and go. He’s was still pretty sore and had another scan on that foot. While there didn’t show to be a crack in the bone in that toe – that toe was still pretty hot. There was a lot of pressure there and he’s back on the crutches and in a boot for another couple of weeks. We’ll gradually ween him back to low bearing on that foot. We want to take an opportunity now to really let that heal and make sure that he has an uninterrupted run during pre-season. Jack is going to have longer time off his legs and a more gradual progression once he does start loading and running. He’ll be in the rehab group up until Christmas.