This article originally appeared on AFL.com.au
PORT ADELAIDE is aiming to have its two most dynamic attacking weapons, spearhead Charlie Dixon and veteran small forward Robbie Gray, back to their best next season.
Dixon and Gray have returned in great shape this pre-season having been back for the past week ahead of the official return of the senior players at Alberton Oval on Monday.
It's a stark contrast to this time last year when Dixon was in the early stages of his recovery from a badly broken leg and Gray was on limited duties on the comeback from minor knee surgery.
Dixon was restricted to just nine games last season, kicking 13 goals, after making his return in round 14.
The Power are hopeful the 29-year-old – who is out of contract at the end of 2020 - can recapture his 2017 form when he booted a career-high 49 goals.
"This time last year, he was still really battling with the injury he sustained at the end of 2017," the Power's GM of football Chris Davies said.
"He looks to have slimmed down a little bit and certainly if he's up and running, he'll add something that we didn't probably have consistently last year.
"If we can get him back to his 2017-18 form, you'd think we're going to be in a far better spot than what we were last season."
Gray – a four-time All Australian and three-time club best and fairest – has also turned heads with his early form on the track.
"It was fantastic to see Robbie Gray doing some running," Davies said.
"This time last year, he was coming off surgery and really having to manage his body significantly.
"For him to tell me after the session that he felt really good was a great thing for us and a great thing for him."
Utility Jack Watts continues to progress in his recovery from a badly broken leg.
Watts only played two games last season after suffering the season-ending injury in round two against Carlton.
"We're hopeful that (he returns) in round one," Davies said.
"He's doing a fair bit of running away from the group, progressing into change of direction type stuff, which is probably where the danger lies now with Jack.
"I'd say there's no reason why we wouldn't be expecting Jack to be available for the pre-season games."
Youngster Zak Butters is leading the running at the Power, while vice-captain Hamish Hartlett, Dan Houston and Xavier Duursma are on modified programs.