Carlton captain Sam Docherty says he is more confident in his knee now than he was this time last year.
Docherty has suffered a torn ACL in each of the past two pre-seasons and is hoping to get back to his All-Australian best in 2020.
The 26-year-old told RSN that he recently travelled to Philadelphia for an intense training run.
“(The trip) was to try and get as much confidence in my knee as I can before I start training,” Docherty said.
“We were there for six days and basically from 9am to 4:30pm with a small break in the middle. We were just training, doing extras and working through the progression of the running and change of direction stuff.
“It was really good, really beneficial and we’ve got a heap out of it that we can bring back.”
Carlton coach David Teague told SEN Breakfast last week that they plan to take it slow with Docherty for his own protection and the skipper confirmed he won’t be back at full training until the new year.
“I probably won’t full train until mid-January, but I’ll be in and out of certain things basically from day one,” he said.
“We’re being a bit more hesitant and making sure everything is right and ready to go.
“We’re taking out as much risk as we can before playing practice games and getting ready for the season.”
Docherty won Carlton’s best and fairest in 2016 and finished a close second in 2017. He has not played an AFL game in either of the past two seasons.