After re-injuring his knee last year in an innocuous incident at pre-season training, Docherty said he and Russell came up with a plan to change parts of his rehab.
“I’ve done different bits of pieces …I’ve tried to trim down my upper body weight, I’m probably down four or five kilos on what I was this time last year,” he said.
Docherty is about to head to the U.S. where he’ll spend time with world renowned knee specialist Bill Knowles, who helped West Coast superstar Nic Naitanui recover from his first reconstruction.
“[There’s] a lot of jump and land, specific mechanic stuff with my knee and my ankle that we’ll work through … most of the guys that I’ve heard from that have gone over and seen him have had really good results, so I’m hoping for the same,” Docherty said.
The forgotten Blue won’t be the only thing returning in the Marsh Community Series, with St Kilda hosting Hawthorn in the pre-season opener at Moorabbin.
In what will be the first AFL game played at the venue for more than a quarter of a century, the two sides will do battle in a Thursday night contest on February 20.
The Western Bulldogs and North Melbourne face each other on the first Friday night at Marvel Stadium, in the first of three weeks for the Marsh Community Series.
Two more venues will see their first taste of AFL action, with Essendon travelling to Lathlain in Western Australia to take on the West Coast Eagles while Port Adelaide will host the Bulldogs at Bennett Oval in Whyalla, around 400km north of Adelaide.
In a pre-season rarity the fixture will also feature a grand final rematch, with Greater Western Sydney hosting Richmond at Robertson Oval in Wagga Wagga.