Sam Draper is closing in on a main training return. (Photo: AFL Photos)

Essendon forward Jaiden Hunter successfully underwent a knee reconstruction yesterday after rupturing his ACL last week.

The 21-year-old will now enter a recovery phase before commencing a lengthy rehab program.

Ruck Sam Draper has reached a milestone in his recovery from a groin injury, with the 25-year-old expected to begin to integrate into training next week. Draper underwent groin surgery over the off-season and has just completed a strong rehabilitation running block following the Christmas break.

Dylan Shiel is also progressing well in his recovery from a foot injury, with the midfielder continuing to build his on-field running volumes with the aim of commencing agility work and reintegration into training next month.

Fellow forward Tex Wanganeen is progressing steadily following surgery on a navicular injury in his foot at the end of the 2023 season. The 20-year-old has commenced running on the Alter-G machine while continuing in a high-volume off-legs conditioning program.