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Gray impressed with Watts early return

Jack Watts and Robbie Gray made an early return to pre-season training when Port Adelaide's 1-4 year players hit the track at Alberton. - Port Adelaide Power,Jack Watts,Robbie Gray
Jack Watts and Robbie Gray made an early return to pre-season training when Port Adelaide's 1-4 year players hit the track at Alberton.

PORT ADELAIDE star forward Robbie Gray says he’s impressed with how fit teammate Jack Watts is after missing most of last season with a significant leg injury.

Gray and Watts joined the club’s first to fourth year players on Monday morning as they returned to Alberton for the first day of pre-season training.

Three-time John Cahill Medallist Gray said Watts was in good spirits heading into what shaped as a gruelling training block.

“I had a good chat to him yesterday and he’s feeling really good, really strong, so he feels pretty much good to go,” Gray told SEN SA’s breakfast program on Tuesday.

“He’s been doing all the running as per the program that the rest of the group have been doing.

“It’ll be really good for him to get four months of solid pre-season under his belt.”

Watts only managed two games last season after breaking his leg in the Round 2 victory over Carlton, and Gray says this training period is a significant step in his return to the senior side.

“It was a really serious injury that he’s gone through, so it’ll be a really important block for him over summer, no doubt,” Gray said.

“He has had a good break and is really keen to continue on. At the start of last year, he had a great pre-season in the practice games and started the year pretty well.”

Gray - who played 19 games in 2019 - started the 14th pre-season of his career and says he is expecting to complete a fair chunk of the pre-season program, but admits at his age he won’t do everything.

“I slowly build up to Christmas and I manage my knee a little bit,” Gray explained.

“I shouldn’t be too far out of main training - probably the start of December I’ll start doing that and then just build up.

“I probably won’t complete as much as some guys, but I’ll complete a fair chunk and be ready for the start of the season.”

The rest of the Port Adelaide playing group will return to Alberton on Monday 18 November.