The troublesome Harley Bennell has successfully completed a running session with the Demons, but head coach Simon Goodwin admits the 27-year-old’s calves will likely keep him out of action to begin the season.
The high draft selection who played at both Gold Coast and Fremantle will join the Victorian club’s main training group on December 3rd. Bennell is hopeful of earning a spot on Melbourne’s list as a pre-season supplementary selection.
On Tuesday morning, Bennell completed a running session for the first time in five months following calf surgery.
“His first run was successful,” Goodwin told SEN on Thursday morning.
“Harley’s feeling really confident in it, but there’s still a bit of unknown.
“He’s had an operation where he’s had both plantaris, which is a muscle down the bottom of the calf, taken out.
“(High performance manager) Darren Burgess has had some experience with that in soccer with some success, but that’s been more around the healing of an Achilles, so we’re still a bit unsure.”
Goodwin said he had caught up with Bennell several times since he agreed to train with the Demons.
“He’s emotional about where his footy’s been and he doesn’t want to waste it,” Goodwin said.
“We want to give him that opportunity to train with us, prepare the best he can knowing it’s going to be a journey.
“It might take time to get his calf right and not be ready for round one, he knows that, but he’s got a love of the game.”