After 11 months as part of the rehabilitation group following a knee reconstruction, Alex Browne took a significant step in his recovery on Monday. 

The young defender took part in his first training session with the main group since injuring his knee during a NAB Challenge game against Gold Coast in February last year.

Browne was simply excited to be back amongst his teammates on the training track.

“It felt good, I just sort of cruised through the session but it was just good to be out there,” Browne said.

“I have done some decent work by myself in the last few weeks but it has been good to come back into the group with only a couple of drills.

“That is what put a smile on my face, being out on the field with the other guys and having a bit of fun.”

“It is a tough time in rehab but you have to do it and then once you get out there the results take care of themselves.”

The 22-year-old is confident he remains on track to put his hand up for selection in the club’s season opener against Sydney at ANZ Stadium.

“My fitness is alright because you cross train as much as you can but it changes now that I am in training.”

“I need to be getting match fit by doing things such as tackling, getting up off the ground and repeat efforts so I will be doing that over the next few weeks.”

“I am aiming to get back by the start of the season and I think I will be there.”

“It is just about putting in more load, I was in for the first couple of drills today and over the next couple of weeks I will be doing more at training and match simulation before round 1.”

In a further boost for the club, young midfielder Will Hams also took part in his first session after overcoming an ongoing hip complaint.