MELBOURNE, AUSTRALIA - OCTOBER 25: New Giants recruit Brett Deledio poses for a photograph during a GWS Giants press conference at AFL House on October 25, 2016 in Melbourne, Australia. (Photo by Michael Willson/AFL Media/Getty Images)

GWS star Brett Deledio has admitted he’s unsure when he will return to an AFL field, despite positive signs in his rehabilitation.

The 30-year-old made the switch to the Giants on the final day of last year’s trade period, after 243 games over his 12-year career at Richmond.

Deledio’s final two seasons at Punt Road were hampered with injuries to his calf, and the veteran suffered another calf injury in February, before having another setback early in his recovery.

“I’m confident I can play in the back half (of the season),” Deledio told Fox Footy on Sunday.

“I’m looking forward to getting out there, but it’s just been a really slow process and one we knew we’d have to go slow with.

“We tried to rush it a bit early on probably and I did suffer a couple of setbacks, but since we’ve gone nice and slow we’ve built it up and got it nice and strong.

“Whenever that time is – I’m not going to put a timeframe on it because ultimately you set yourself up to fail – but when I do get back, I want to be back for the rest of the year.”

The Giants have gone 4-1 in Deledio’s absence, with their only loss so far this season coming against Adelaide in the opening round.

Deledio admitted it’s been tough for him to watch his teammates play without being able to get onto the field, but says he’s determined to get his injury right this time around.

“I’ve come this far now, being really patient and trying to get the calf nice and strong before returning,” he said.

“So I’m not willing to rush that just to get back playing. I’ve got to be patient.

“I’m itching to get out there and be a part of it but I’ve got to stick to my plan and see it through, so I can play the rest of the season without a hiccup.”