Carlton star Charlie Curnow remains confident he can put a horror run of knee injuries behind him and return to the AFL later this year.
The 23-year-old had the latest in a series of surgeries on his right knee last month and received an encouraging assessment from the surgeon last week.
Curnow dislocated and broke his right patella in separate incidents late last year.
He had an operation in November to fix the patella he broke when he slipped on some tiles.
That setback came after he sustained ligament damage in the same knee in a round 15 win over Fremantle, then he dislocated the same patella while playing basketball with friends in October.
The run of bad luck has made club performance staff reluctant to estimate when he will return to full fitness, but the key forward is planning to play again this year, assuming the season restarts.
"It's feeling better but I think I'm just going to have to go off the way my knee is feeling and when it's feeling 100 per cent I'll get the all clear," Curnow said on Friday.
"But I'm not too sure when that's going to be.
"A lot of people have said different time frames but all I can really say is that it's tracking really well.
"So I'm hoping to play footy this year, I'm not definitely not ruling anything out and I am pretty confident I will."
Curnow, who is spending the coronavirus shutdown at his family home in Torquay, is allowed to travel to Melbourne to meet with the club physio one-on-one at a clinic away from Ikon Park.
Last month's surgery was a major step forward in his rehabilitation process as it allowed him to significantly increase his training loads.
Curnow gave an insight into the extent of the surgical procedures he has had to endure over the past 12 months.
"(The last operation) was a huge relief ... it's been a bit of a long process since the first surgery I had on the kneecap," he said.
"They put a pin in that time and in the second injury they had wires wrapped around my kneecap to mould it back together.
"They took those bits out from both surgeries and it feels like a normal knee again.
"I'm pretty happy with it ... walking around is a lot easier."
Australian Associated Press