A former Wodonga star has taken his first tentative comeback steps after a horror broken leg.
Zach Jones trained for the first time on Tuesday night after 14 months out of the game.
“It’s not set in stone, I just wanted to see how I went,” he said.
“I pulled up well and I’m thinking about having a kick in the reserves and see what happens.
“But, best-case scenario, I’d like to get back and play seniors.”
The 26-year-old suffered a compound fracture of the tibia and fibula while playing for the Geelong Amateur Football Club in the Bellarine league.
“It took me probably five months to actually start slowly jogging a little bit,” he said.
Jones will ramp up his training after completing the Gold Coast Half Marathon, early next month.
“I’ve run three half marathons and I just found with the quick stuff, the higher impact, that just hurt the leg a bit more, so I just went back on the long, slow stuff, which is a bit easier,” he said.
Jones boasts a formidable personal best of one hour and 21 minutes for the 21.1-kilometre event.
If the pacy defender can get back near his best, it will provide a massive boost for the Bulldogs.
The club sits inside the five and, if results go as expected on Saturday, it could be one of four teams with a seven-three record.
“Hopefully, if he can back to somewhere where he used to be, he’s absolutely a very good player,” coach Dean Harding said.
“He’s the right size, he can play inside-outside midfielder or he can play key position if you need him to.
“Look, it’s a bonus (Zach training again), we’re pretty happy about it and he trained and trained well, he’d be a massive plus for us.”
Jones admits he was told to retire by his doctor.
“I think they said I probably shouldn’t play, but I think that’s what they all say,” he said.
Wodonga faces a tough away game against a desperate Myrtleford on Saturday.
Meanwhile, Yarrawonga has signed a former AFL player.
However, it’s highly unlikely ex-Hawthorn and Brisbane forward Jordan Lisle will play a game.
The 26-year-old is a friend of sidelined Pigeon Tyler Bonat and has adopted the club as his second home.
Lisle is a star with VFL outfit Port Melbourne.
Unfortunately, Port doesn’t have a free weekend for the rest of the season.
If second-placed Wangaratta falls to Albury, Yarrawonga should join the Pies, Wodonga and Lavington with a share of second spot.
The Pigeons host the winless Corowa-Rutherglen in round 10.