Lycett underwent a PCL reconstruction at the end of the season after injuring his knee late last season.
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He was initially expected to be ready for Round 1 next season, however, Simpson says the 24-year-old now is unlikely to be able to return until halfway through 2017.
“It’s hard to tell (how long you need to recover) when you have a reconstruction like he did,” Simpson said.
“It’s not really a hiccup. But when they’re the size they are, it just takes a little bit longer.
“We’re hoping in the early part of the season (he can return).
“But we want to get it right, along with Nic. So barring any hiccups, we’re thinking early to mid part of the season.”
The Eagles ruck stocks were dealt a huge blow late last season, with Nic Naitanui and Lycett both going down with injuries, with Naitanui set to miss the entire 2017 season.