In the best news out of Melbourne since Paul Roos signed on and the club started winning games, exciting young power forward Jesse Hogan has returned to running and more importantly is poised to sign a two-year contract extension.
Hogan has agreed in principle to a two-year extension through until the end of 2017. The financial terms are still being finalised, but he would be expected to earn about $500,000 a season in those two extra years given both Fremantle and West Coast had significant interest in luring the West Australian home.
Hogan, who has battled back stress fractures this year - which have prevented him from playing after being unable to play senior football for the club last year after being secured as a 17-year-old in the GWS mini-draft two years ago - is expected to be back playing in about a month.
Hogan's manager Matt Bain of Stride said his client was expected to play the final four or five games of the season.
"Jesse is in the rehab group now doing some running, which is big step forward for him," Bain said. "We hope he will be back playing in four or five weeks' time in the VFL.
"Contract-wise he is really happy in Melbourne and loving the footy club. They have put significant time into Jesse in a development sense and been patient and ultra-conservative with him through his injury and he recognises that.
"He would like to stay and Jason Dover [Hogan's Perth-based manager] and I are working through that with the club at the moment."
One of the first things Roos did when he arrived at Melbourne was to fly to Perth to meet with Hogan and his parents, recognising the importance of the club securing the promising young player for the medium to long term.
"Stride also has Jack Martin, who was in the same mini-draft as Jesse, and he recently signed a two-year extension with the Gold Coast," Bain said.
Hogan is yet to make his senior AFL debut but the glimpse Melbourne fans got of him in last year's NAB Cup was sufficient to believe he will be a significant AFL player for years. Although young, he has a mature build and was able to comfortably trade weight with bigger defenders.
The story Young Melbourne star Jesse Hogan back running and set to pen new two-year deal first appeared on The Sydney Morning Herald.