Francis started his pre-season early in late September, with almost no break after the 2016 season ended. Even so, his condition after about 5 months of interrupted pre-season is pretty much an unknown ( outside the club). There has been some improvement in muscle definition based on casual observation but there were no reports of him "tearing up the training track" , setting personal bests, starring in intraclubs, yada yada.
We will just have to wait until we see him in a game, any game, to judge what improvement there has been.
Early on in the preseason there were reports on the club website stating that he had shed weight and his fitness was improving. My recollection of the 2015/2016 (Francis first following the draft) preseason was that he spent large parts of the preseason just running laps in order to get a base level of fitness. This year Francis has pretty much been involved with full training from the get go, except when injured.
When I saw him at training a couple of times prior to the Christmas break he was looking in great nick. At one stage he was able to break a Hooker tackle pretty much just through the strength through the hips and waist. At the time people were pretty excited. He doesn't have the greyhound physique that seems common to most players and the ramifications of this were discussed in the telecast of the intra club match.
It would be fair to say Francis has a great deal of ground to make up in terms of fitness. But that doesn't mean he isn't improving. I dont think he has the same problem as Neagle, for instance. I also got the feeling from the JLT2 match post presser that he would have been playing if he hadn't been ill. I notice that another two players (Bird and Mutch) had come down with an illness.