Despite rupturing his ACL in mid-November, star Carlton defender Sam Docherty is refusing to rule out a possible return later this year.
The 24-year-old is back running following his surgery and has already spent time in America stepping up his rehabilitation.
“My first run was the week before I headed to the US. That was the main marker for me to head over there and do my rehab,” Docherty told SEN’s Time On with Sam McClure.
“I’m probably week three or four of that, and timeline with the knee it’s just how progressive, if I’m lucky enough that I have no setbacks – somewhere around that nine month mark.
“Again it’s just dependent on when my running progresses to more intensity and more volume, how it copes with that, and then we’ll just keep reassessing from there.
“Hopefully we will be back next year, or later this year.”
The 2017 All-Australian gave his recollections about how the injury occurred, and while disappointed it has ruined his season, he says it has allowed him to improve in other areas.
“It was really innocuous. I was just running, and tried to plant my left foot on the ground and change directions, and for whatever reason, whether it was going to go anyway, or just the angle my knee was on - it popped,” he said.
“I went down and I knew something wasn’t right. Sure enough I got the scan and it was a pure ACL, and out for somewhere between 9-12 months.
“It’s one of those things that as an athlete it’s hard to cop when your season just gets thrown under the bus, but it also gave me an opportunity to really develop and grow outside of football, develop my leadership.
“It’s been a really good pre-season for me. I’ve really been involved in the club and looking forward to the season ahead.”
Docherty confirmed he will spending time assisting the coaching group, with the former Brisbane Lion seeing his future in coaching, post his football career.
The Blues get their 2018 campaign underway with their traditional Thursday night encounter against Richmond at the MCG.
To hear Sam Docherty's chat on Time On with Sam McClure listen in the player below: