The outcome following injury can be healing, scarring or regeneration, all of which initiate within a resolving inflammatory response. Regeneration, comprising the complete anatomical and functional restoration of lost tissue with minimal residual consequence of injury, is the outcome that most holistically restores prior function. Leukocytes are recognized as playing an important role in determining the balance between fully regenerative or only partially reparative outcomes. Although macrophages have attracted considerable attention for their capacity to direct pro-regenerative outcomes, neutrophils are also key players in initiating inflammation and in influencing its ensuing outcome. In the context of prior studies investigating the role of neutrophils and macrophages in wound healing and in tissue/organ regeneration (mostly wound repair/healing models in mice), we comprehensively review the experimental possibilities that zebrafish models offer for delineating the individual and interactive contributions of neutrophils and macrophages to the regenerative process in embryos and adults. Zebrafish are a highly regenerative vertebrate and have a myeloid system very analogous to that of less-regenerative mammalian models. There are well-characterized reporter lines for imaging and distinguishing neutrophil and macrophage behaviors in vivo, and tools enabling selective, independent manipulation of these two leukocyte lineages for functional studies. Zebrafish are an attractive model for delineating neutrophil and macrophage contributions not only to regeneration, but also to many other pathological processes. This article is part of a directed issue entitled: Regenerative Medicine: the challenge of translation.