PERTH, WESTERN AUSTRALIA - AUGUST 19: Nic Naitanui of the Eagles holds his left leg while resting on the bench during the round 22 AFL match between the West Coast Eagles and the Hawthorn Hawks at Domain Stadium on August 19, 2016 in Perth, Australia. (Photo by Will Russell/AFL Media/Getty Images)

Injured West Coast star Nic Naitanui says he is progressing well as he continues his rehabilitation from a knee reconstruction.

Naitauni was initially expected to miss the entire 2017 season after he tore his anterior cruciate ligament against Hawthorn in Round 22 this season.

However, the ruckman says he is hopeful of playing next season as he continues what has so far been a complication free recovery process.

“I think that’s (round 15 or 16) just a date that Simmo’s (coach Adam Simpson) thrown out, but I’ll aim to look to around then,” Naitanui said.

“But we’ll take it, like it is every time, week-by-week and see how we’re progressing.

“Myself and Scotty Lycett (PCL reconstruction) have been working pretty closely together so it’s good to have a partner in rehab.”

Naiatnui said he believes that despite theĀ absence of both himself and fellow ruckman Scott Lycett, the side can be a force next year.

“I think whether we get it done by hand or not from the ruck perspective, the younger mids and the older mids will get it done I reckon,” Naitanui said. “We’ll be right.”