Cooney, 27, trekked to Germany back in October for a revolutionary surgical treatment on his wonky right knee ahead of potentially another grinding summer and new AFL season with the struggling Dogs.
The classy play-maker was restricted to 14 games last year with on-going knee troubles that continue to threaten to shorten the 2008 Brownlow winner’s career.
Cooney is expected to play at least one game on Friday in the league’s triangular series NAB openers, when the rebuilding Dogs confront the embattled Bombers and then Collingwood at Etihad Stadium.
Cooney’s trip to one of the world’s most renowned knee surgeons has significantly raised hopes the potentially damaging follower can have a substantial influence with Dogs in 2013.
He visited orthopaedic surgeon Dr Peter Wehling, who also treated US basketball sensation Kobe Bryant with on-going knee problems.
The procedure assisted in radically reducing constant swelling in Cooney’s troublesome knee after heavy training bouts.
Former St Kilda and West Coast big man Michael Gardiner also extended his injury-troubled career at the Saints after a European trek to knee specialists with proven radical treatment processes.