Hawthorn midfielder Tom Mitchell has passed the one-year milestone since his devastating leg injury.
Speaking on SEN Breakfast on Wednesday morning, Mitchell said he is feeling optimistic as his recovery nears its completion.
“It was actually 12 months on Saturday. I’m tracking well. I’ve slowly started to integrate into team training drills and things like that,” Mitchell said.
“I still don’t have a confirmation date on a return to play, but I’m really enjoying being among the boys and being a part of team training instead of running laps by myself.
“I can pretty much do everything. Once you integrate into the team training, you’re running, you’re kicking, you’re changing directions, so everything I’m going to need to do to play I’m doing that, but just at a lower level.”
The 2018 Brownlow Medallist conceded he has learnt a lot in regard to his training practices over the past year.
“Coming off a pretty nasty injury you have got to be a little bit realistic and maybe train smarter than harder,” he said.
“I need to pick my sessions when to train with intensity and know when to bring it back down so my body can adjust to training loads again.”
With the improvement of reigning Peter Crimmins Medallist James Worpel in 2019, Mitchell says he is excited to see the Hawthorn on-ball brigade take on a different look in the upcoming season.
“I definitely would like to get back to the standard I was playing at, but having said that we have got a number of midfielders who are running through there and even guys on the outside.
“I feel as though we have a really deep midfield and whether that means we’re spreading the load more, that might be helpful for the whole team so I’m not sure how it is all going to look once game time starts.
“Individually I would definitely like to get to a high standard of playing, but I’m not sure how long that is going to take coming off a big injury.”