Melbourne FC are having a pretty spectacular start to the season – with just three players spending time in the rehab group.
Since returning to Casey Fields, there have been zero long-term concerns, and Melbourne’s performance manager, Darren Burgess, is confident his side are ready to put their best foot forward, in the next two months of training.
“With a shortened pre-season, we put more emphasis on the work they did at home, and they’ve come back ready to go,” Burgess told Melbourne Media.
“The other incentive for the players was the more work they got in, the less running they had to do when they came back and the more footy they could do, and that’s how it’s played out.
“There’s about 40 percent less sessions this year than last year, so we’re certainly putting more emphasis on giving the coaches more time and allowing more conditioning in the drills rather than separately.”
The only three Demons to have missed a main session in the last fornight are Angus Brayshaw, Michaell Hibberd and Harry Petty.
The trio are taking things slow, each with slight niggles.
“Gus is the main one,” Burgess said.
“He will start integrating back into training in two weeks, but he has been out for a reasonable amount of time.
“There’s been no setbacks or anything like that, that’s just how long his foot will take, so we expect him to be around the mark for the first practice match.”
Hibberd’s injury cloud more so on the minor end.
“He rolled his ankle at training which reaggravated an old ankle injury,” Burgess said.
“He’s probably looking at the same sort of thing – rehab next week and then training the week after.
“So he’s a week away from reintegrating back into skills.”
And Petty has missed the entire 2020 campaign, with a consistent groin injury.
The club is being cautious with its treatment of the 21-year-old.
“He got really sick during the break and missed about seven days of training, so we’re just monitoring his loads,” Burgess said.
“We just have to be super careful with him.
“He’s back in training today, but he’ll be on a constantly modified training program.”
Melbourne looking fit and firing for its first clash of the Pre-Season Community Series – against Freo at Fremantle Oval, February 26, 2020.