Hawthorn star Tom Mitchell has opened up on his recovery from a broken leg and the off-field battles that came with it.
The ball magnet suffered a tibia and fibula break in January and missed the entire 2019 campaign.
Mitchell said he initially struggled with the mental side of the injury.
“For the first month or so I was waking up with a few nightmares,” Mitchell told the Herald Sun.
“I was sleeping really poorly. I just kept replaying the incident in my head over and over and at night I’d wake up grabbing my leg as if it had just happened.”
The 2018 Brownlow medallist revealed that a round one return in 2019 is no certainty.
“There’s no guarantees,” he said.
“I’d love to play round one and that’s what I’m hopeful of doing. But I know better than anyone … anything can happen.
“The next step will be to incorporate more agility into my program, touching the footy more, kicking more and getting into training drills more.
“When you’re out for so long it’s quite difficult at times. But I feel quite motivated now after such an extended break and hopefully that can help me attack this pre-season.
“When I’m out in full-training again and trying not to think about the incident and getting into games and hitting bodies and colliding with people – that’s a hurdle I’ll have to overcome.
“I’ll have to confront it eventually. I’ll have to speak to people about that when the time comes, but we’re not at that point yet.”