Nearing one month since he went under the knife for back surgery, Hawthorn forward Jack Gunston is confident with how his recovery is tracking.
Dealing with a bulging disc in previous seasons, the club and Gunston decided to opt for surgery to rectify the issue prior to Christmas.
Coming off arguably the best individual season of his career in 2020, the reigning Peter Crimmins Medallist conceded he had to be patient in his pursuit of a return to the field.
"It's going well," Gunston said.
"Obviously, with backs, you've got to be pretty careful and take things pretty slowly.
"So, at the moment, I'm just strolling around the oval, watching the boys train and I'm just starting to get on the bike now too.
"It's going to be a slow process but I'm looking forward to feeling better and, I guess, being able to be 100 per cent when I do get out there."
As a leader of the club, there are obvious challenges in being able to assert influence on the group whilst being on the sidelines, but Gunston says it is a focus of his to remain connected with his teammates.
"(My main goal over the next couple of months) is just staying around the boys and keeping involved.
"When you're in rehab, you can be pretty distant because you're doing your own program so my focus is staying out here.
"And, I guess from a personal view, I just want to keep ticking off the little wins here and there.
"Hopefully I'll be out training in a month to six weeks or so.
"In terms of the footy side of things, it'll take a bit longer but just focus on the little wins along the way and watch the boys go through their pre-season and get excited with them for the start of the year."