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Nic Naitanui on track for 2017 AFL return

AAP logoAAP 22/09/2016 By Justin Chadwick

West Coast ruckman Nic Naitanui has been feeling frustrated early into his recovery from knee surgery, but he remains optimistic he'll be able to return in the latter stages of next season.

Naitanui underwent a knee reconstruction in late August after tearing the anterior cruciate ligament in his left knee.

Under normal circumstances, Naitanui would have more movement in his knee by now.

But because he also suffered heavy bone damage, he'll have to spend another month in a leg brace and on crutches.

It means driving is out of the question at the moment, and Naitanui doesn't like it one bit.

"I'm actually taking the front seat out of my car and driving from the back seat at the moment," Naitanui joked.

"I'm sitting in the back seat letting everyone be my chauffeur. I feel pretty bad letting everyone drive me around. And just being at home for the majority of it.

"It's frustrating, but you just have to learn to deal with it."

Naitanui was due to meet his surgeon on Thursday for a check-up.

The 2012 All-Australian said everything has been tracking well, and he expected to be playing during the latter stages of the 2017 home-and-away season.

Naitanui joined friend and Formula One ace Daniel Ricciardo for a promotional event in Perth on Thursday.

Ricciardo has invited Naitanui to watch some of his races while he recovers from surgery, and the Eagles ruckman is keen to take up the offer - if coach Adam Simpson approves.

"Last year Eric Mackenzie went across to Monaco (while recovering from surgery) and hung out at a few Red Bull parties and watched a few races," Naitanui said.

"I'll be knocking on Simmo's door tomorrow to tell him the exact same thing."

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