Richmond premiership hero Daniel Rioli took the first tentative step towards a potential round-one appearance last weekend after he completed his first running session since breaking his foot during the Tigers' grand final victory four months ago.
The 20-year-old, who injured himself during the final quarter of Richmond's drought-breaking triumph, underwent surgery in October.
Rioli was on crutches and forced to wear a moonboot at the club's official grand final function on the night of the premiership decider after being carried around the MCG by captain Trent Cotchin for the post-match lap of honour earlier in the day.
The speedster remained in the boot for an extended period and is essentially learning how to run again after so much time on the sidelines.
As usual, the Tigers kick off the home-and-away season against old foes Carlton on March 22, which means the electrifying small forward has just under two months to get himself right.
"Daniel Rioli has started running this weekend out on the grass and, really, we're re-educating him on how to run again because he hasn't run for so long. He's been in a boot," Richmond's physical performance manager Peter Burge told the club's website during the team's pre-season camp on the Sunshine Coast.
"So teaching him how to move again, posture, all this sort of stuff with running [is the priority] before we actually start doing any longer running. So we want to get that right first.
"If we don't get that right first, it could lead to other types of injuries - overuse injuries.
"But he's doing really, really well. From what I saw today, I was really impressed."
Rioli has been an instant hit at Punt Road since making his debut for the Tigers in 2016, playing 43 matches and booting 38 goals.
He saved the best performance of his short career for one of football's biggest stages when he kicked four goals in a match-winning effort against Greater Western Sydney in last year's preliminary final.
His premiership success further etched the Rioli name in footy folklore with his cousin Cyril a multiple flag-winning player with Hawthorn, as well as a Norm Smith medallist.
The late Maurice Rioli, Daniel's great-uncle, also won a Norm Smith Medal for Richmond in a losing grand final team in 1982 while their cousin Dean played in a grand final with Essendon in 2001.