Hawthorn star Cyril Rioli should return to the AFL club in the next few weeks after a tumultuous few months.
The Norm Smith Medallist and four-time premiership player only managed seven games last season because of injury.
He has also had to cope with several family health crises.
Most recently, the Hawks granted him compassionate leave on November 19 after his father underwent heart surgery.
Teammate Luke Breust is looking forward to the fellow forward's return.
"We're still giving Cyril time. We expect him back at the club in the next few weeks," Breust said.
"He'll just rejoin the group and continue to come in and train as normal."
Breust was speaking before a Hawks training session at Moe in country Victoria.
After missing the finals last year for the first time since 2009, the Hawks are aiming high.
Returning president Jeff Kennett unveiled a bold strategy last month at the Hawthorn annual general meeting -- win two more premierships in the next five years and bring their overall tally to 20 by 2050.
The Hawks' three-peat from 2013-15 took their flags total to 13.
They are the only AFL club to win premierships in every decade since the 1960s.
"I was sitting in the front row at the AGM that night and obviously it's a bold statement," Breust said.
"But it's one we feel as a club that it's obviously better to put it out there and then continue to work towards that.
"We're united behind that plan."
Breust is among several experienced Hawthorn players who now have to step up their leadership responsibilities.
Over the past two years the Hawks have lost captain Luke Hodge, plus fellow veterans Sam Mitchell, Jordan Lewis and Josh Gibson.
Breust said they had an emerging leaders' group that included Ben McEvoy, Taylor Duryea, Tom Mitchell and Jaeger O'Meara.
"It's certainly our responsibility to step up and fill that void," Breust said.
Breust said his pre-season had started well after he struggled for form last year.