ALBURY midfielder Alex Jones is tentatively planning a round one comeback.
The speedster is on a modified training program but hopes to be back in full training by early February.
“I’m trying to get fit enough to play in round one,” Jones said.
“I only started running again just before Christmas and am taking a cautious approach with my recovery.
“My recovery has been guided by my surgeon in Melbourne and besides running I have also been doing a lot of gym work to get the strength back in my legs.
“Hopefully I get the green light to get back into full training in the next couple of weeks and I’ll see what happens from there.
“I reckon I need to be in full training by February to be any chance of playing round one.”
Jones proved to be a real surprise packet for the Tigers after crossing from the Murray Magpies in 2016.
He won a flag in his first season at the Albury Sportsground and was a vital cog in the Tigers midfield the following year.
In a breakout season, the 25-year-old managed a top-10 finish in the Tigers best and fairest before injury struck.
“I sort of didn’t know what to expect when I first arrived at Albury,” Jones said.
“I worked hard on my fitness and found the fitter I got, I just grew in confidence.
“I was pretty happy with my form before I got injured and was building up to even a bigger year in 2018 but I got injured and couldn’t play.
“I’m hoping I can recapture my form but I suppose that is always the unknown when you are coming back from a knee.”
Jones said he juggled his time on the sidelines last year indulging in his passion for fishing and hunting as well as being the runner on match day.
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“I love my hunting and got to do a fair bit of pig hunting and spent a month in Darwin fishing as well,” he said.
“I also did the running for about seven or eight weeks in the middle of the year when I wasn’t away hunting.”
Although Jones has plenty of interests outside of football, he said having 12 months on the sidelines had only fuelled his hunger for further success at Albury Sportsground.
“I didn’t think I would really miss having a year off footy but when the boys won the flag – it stung me a fair bit,” he said.
“I didn’t miss playing during the year but as soon as they won that grand final you feel a bit sorry for yourself.
“But it was still pleasing to see the boys get the job done, especially after the heartache of losing the previous year.”
Albury resume pre-season training on Monday.
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