Daniel Wells' pre-season has hit a glitch with the star North Melbourne midfielder battling calf and Achilles complaints.
The Kangaroos medical staff have put the 27-year-old on a restricted program in a bid to have him fit for Round 1, less than a year after blood clots in his lungs, which were discovered following routine shoulder surgery, threatened to derail his 2012 season.
North Melbourne coach Brad Scott expects Wells to be fit for the start of the season, but his long history of restricted pre-seasons is cause for concern.
"He was never going to join in full training until after Christmas and we're graduating his program through and we anticipate he'll be fine to go for the start of the year," Scott told the club's website.
"Wellsy, we think, has got a really good training base behind him so we know what a class act he is, we just need to get him fully fit and feeling his best because to do the things he's capable of doing, he's got to be fully fit without any injury worries so we're confident he'll be right for Round 1.
"It's (was) a little bit unlucky for him but last year even though he had the blood clots issue, he still got a lot of aerobic work in and the year before he had a terrific pre-season so we know what he's capable of when he's fully fit, so our focus is on just getting him fully fit and not taking any risks."
The year Wells completed his one and only full pre-season, he went on to earn 2011 All Australian selection and claimed the club's best and fairest.