Essendon forward Joe Daniher has admitted he "wasn't diligent enough" with his preparation and managing his body amid groin injuries that marred his past two AFL seasons.
Daniher was limited to just 11 games across 2018 and 2019 with groin issues, ultimately having surgery this year before unsuccessfully requesting a trade to Sydney.
"I feel like I've got all the tools now, I've got all the tools and a lot of it now is about the diligency and patience," Daniher said on Thursday.
"A couple of times I've been quite impatient and probably pushed it and pushed it and that might have cost me two or three weeks at times.
"It's a really complicated injury and it's something that I've been dealing with and learning right through this period... and really confident I've got a full summer to get right and play some consistent footy next year."
Daniher played four games early in the 2019 season, including three games in the space of 16 days between rounds five and seven.
He missed round eight, played in round nine then was ruled out for the year, and said he'd failed to coped with the loading.
"In hindsight, looking back I probably wasn't strong enough in the way that I was approaching my weights and those sort of things and probably wasn't diligent enough," Daniher said.
"So once I got to a certain level I just couldn't quite cope with the load and, this time around, that's what we'll be focusing on."
Daniher recently returned from Dublin, where he and teammate James Stewart consulted a groin specialist - something he said had been "really beneficial".
He expected to start running in about 10 days after initially taking a step back to build his strength.
"I started running during the off-season and I just found that once I got up to a really high intensity I probably wasn't coping with that load," he said.
"So pulled it back and going to work on some really key strength markers and hopefully I'll be back running in about 10 days."
Daniher said was confident his teammates supported him and he was focused on making his mark next year.
"I'm really committed to coming in here and proving to my teammates about how hard I want to work for them, for our football club, for our coaching staff and I'm really committed to doing that," he said.
Australian Associated Press