Will Walker continues his rehabilitation
from a long-term knee injury, sustained when he landed awkwardly flying for a mark against Adelaide.
The initial prognosis was he would be ready for the start of pre-season training. It was a prognosis that, In hindsight, that was far too optimistic.
Walker progressed more slowly than expected on the AlterG anti-gravity treadmill but post-Christmas he started over-the-ground running and increased up to 4km a session.
Walker, for his part, felt soreness for "probably one or two sessions" before he told the Roos' medical staff, and he says now what eventuated was "no single person's fault".
A subsequent check-up provided the bad news: he had developed a serious stress reaction in his tibia and was back to square one, only weeks out from round one.
Walker has since used this time to get stronger in the gym, adding about 3kg of muscle while completing his level-two coaching accreditation with a handful of other Kangaroos, including practical experience with his local club Hampton Rovers' under-19 side.
"I haven't had any knee or tibia soreness for probably a month, which is the first time since I've done the knee that I haven't been sore, which is really good," Walker said about his current status.
"We're getting scans every six weeks and the last two we've had have been very positive.
"I wouldn't say I'm 100 per cent in the clear, because I haven't started playing games yet, but I feel really good with my body and my knee's feeling very strong and my leg's feeling great."