Hawthorn midfielder Tom Mitchell admits he is no certainty to play in Round 1 as he continues his recovery from a broken leg suffered in January.
The 2018 Brownlow Medallist suffered a horrific tibia and fibula break, ending his season before it even started.
Mitchell says the injury traumatised him for quite a while.
“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.”
While he remains hopeful of playing in Round 1, the midfielder remains cautious about it actually happening.
“There’s no guarantees,” Mitchell said.
“I’d love to play Round 1 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.”
Mitchell averaged 35 disposals and eight clearances per game in his Brownlow season.