Wood played eight games for the Kangaroos last year but his season was prematurely cut short when an Eagles player landed on his leg during a tackle, tearing his left medial ligament off the bone and damaging the surrounding meniscus.
The “freak accident” Wood suffered was one that came as a bit of a surprise to the North Melbourne medical staff as well, with the team advising Wood that the contact he received that day wouldn’t normally have resulted in such a serious injury.
The 23-year-old returned to training before the majority of his teammates and says his knee hasn’t given him any trouble since, as Wood is now setting his sights on a big season.
“The medial is rock solid and I haven’t had any issues to this point, so it’s probably good that I was able to get through to the end of the season and not try particularly hard to push to get back,” Wood told SEN on Wednesday.
“(I was able) to make sure that it was ready and locked to go for 2017.”
After getting a taste of playing two different roles Wood believes he’ll be better for the experience, but given Petrie’s exit, Wood is anticipating a role as the third big man when Round 1 rolls around.
“It’s as competitive as it’s been (in my time at the club) for spots in the forward line, so it’s going to be very, very interesting which way [North’s match committee] is going to go,” Wood said.
“I’m thinking three talls and three smalls, plus one coming off the bench, plus blokes running through the midfield as well.
“That’s what we went with in the past, that’s what I feel like worked the best.”