Nic Naitanui could miss the entire 2017 season as he continues to recover from knee reconstrctuon
West Coast gun ruckman, Naitanui is recovering from rupturing his ACL against Hawthorn in round 22 of the 2016 season. He underwent surgery to repair the knee in August and is slowly trying to make is comeback to AFL football.
Naitanui told Seven News Perth he hopes to return for the 2017 season, but chances of that occurring maybe slim.
“I knew the journey would be hard… especially the early stages. But never did I think it’d be as tough as what it has been so far.
“I think my mind probably plays tricks on me at times – telling me I can’t do it.
“Learning to walk was something I never thought I’d have to do, just learning to put one foot in front of the other.”
“It could be round one 2018 at the new stadium, so that’s something good to look forward to but at the same time it’s so far away,” he said.
“I think you look at the bigger picture. If I was in my last year and I really needed to have a crack, you know, I’d push really really hard.
“I still will, I still have a goal to play this year, but for me you have to be smart about it, I look long term in my future I don’t want to be sore again or play underdone.
“It will depend how the boys are going as well. If we’re playing finals and we’re going really well, I’ll definitely want to be a part of.”
The Ruck crisis at West Coast seems to be going from bad to worse, with Scott Lycett requiring surgery on his PCL and is expected to miss the Eagles round 1 clash. Jonathan Giles is recovering from a hamstring injury. Which leaves only new recruits Nathan Vardy and veteran Drew Petrie to lead the way in 2017.