WEST Coast star Nic Naitanui will travel to the United States as he ramps up his bid to return from a knee reconstruction.
The Eagles ruckman ruptured the anterior cruciate ligament in his left knee last August.
Naitanui hasn't given up hope of playing this season and will soon head to the US for some high-intensity training under the guidance of renowned sports injury expert Bill Knowles.
Naitanui's teammate Eric Mackenzie, Adelaide captain Taylor Walker plus young guns Daniel Menzel, Jon Patton and Christian Petracca are among the AFL players to have visited Knowles' Philadelphia clinic in recent years.
"I've progressed a fair bit over the last month," Naitanui told AAP.
"I'll do a bit of training in the US over the next couple of weeks and then fingers crossed, hopefully I'll come back and play towards the back end of the year.
"It'll just be a quick trip. The longer I postpone it, the later in the season it gets. I want to get it done now so I can give myself a good crack at coming back this year."
Naitanui wouldn't be drawn on a potential comeback game he was targeting.
"That would be ideal (to play some part in the regular season before finals start). I'm still unaware of what that exact date is," he said.
Naitanui has returned to training with the Eagles' main group, as evidenced by how hoarse he was at a promotional event on Tuesday.
"One of the young boys has punched me in the throat so excuse my voice today," he said.
"It's not full contact (training) but I've started a little bit over the past two weeks, slowly getting back into the main group.
"That will grow more intense over the next couple of weeks."
The Eagles sit seventh on the ladder following their last-start win over Geelong.
Star spearhead Josh Kennedy missed the Cats clash and could miss a third-straight game due to a calf strain.
"I’ve got a lot of tests to get through this week. I did some running yesterday and I’ve got to do a bit more skill stuff," Kennedy told 6PR.
"I have just been doing running and getting all the straight-line stuff and starting to do the change of direction.
"We are actually figuring out now that it’s a bit more angle specific with the way I run, so it is a bit hard to get in to those areas with my leading patterns.
"That is the biggest risk that is going to cause it to re-go."
The Eagles have confirmed promising forward Matthew Allen will miss the rest of the season due to a navicular stress fracture in his foot, while Simon Tunbridge's return from a knee reconstruction has been delayed by a fortnight.
Tunbridge was aiming to play this weekend but has had a slight setback in the area his hamstring graft was taken from as part of his revolutionary hybrid-LARS surgery in December.
Jackson Nelson will miss one-to-two weeks with a minor hamstring strain, while top draftee Daniel Venables might only be sidelined for one more week by turf toe.