Main content
Western Bulldogs Header Branding

Smith edging closer to full fitness

Smith was selected at pick No.7 last year by the Dogs despite missing the end part of the season with Achilles issues. - Western Bulldogs
Smith was selected at pick No.7 last year by the Dogs despite missing the end part of the season with Achilles issues.

Western Bulldogs draftee Bailey Smith is hopeful a long stint on the sidelines with Achilles issues won't hinder his chances for an early season AFL debut.

The midfielder was selected at pick No.7 last year by the Dogs despite missing the end part of the season with Achilles issues.

The injury also saw him ruled out for the NAB AFL Draft Combine and has meant the former Sandringham Dragon has had to watch most of the Dogs' pre-season from the sidelines.

Smith, who turned 18 in December, said it had been a challenge to observe since arriving at Whitten Oval.

"Towards the end of the month or in early February I'll be in full training. It's frustrating. It's been a pain and been pretty lonely at times doing my rehab," Smith told AFL.com.au.

"Not a lot of the boys are in the rehab group so I've been doing a bit here and there by myself, but I just can't wait to get out onto the track.”

Smith is intent on making sure he is ready to go when that time comes. Bike and swimming sessions away from the main group have him fit and fresh, and says his aim remains to don the Dogs' colours early in the season. 

The Dogs will face Sydney at Marvel Stadium in round one, after JLT Community Series clashes against Gold Coast and St Kilda.