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Dan determined

June 12, 2015: Nielson interview catches up with injured defender Daniel Nielson.

Young defender Daniel Nielson says his recovery is on track.

The 19-year-old suffered a season-ending anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) injury at pre-season training in March, meaning his 2015 was a write-off, despite a positive start and an early NAB Cup appearance.

Eleven weeks post knee surgery, Nielson has told he is in good spirits.

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“Everything is going to schedule, so I’m pretty happy about that,” Nielson said.

“The goal is to basically make it for next year. Stay healthy, stay fit. Come back next year, hopefully get a couple of senior games and not have to worry about injuries and so forth.”

Nielson was a welcome sight at Arden St recently, making a return to the training track to take part in some limited skills training.

“First time going out there, was Thursday last week, it was just so good to be out there with the boys again.

“It’s been a fair while since I’ve been out on the track, so just to be out there mingling and getting skills done is a really good feeling.”

Nielson has also taken plenty of advice from more senior players, who have had to deal with season-ending injuries during their own North Melbourne careers.

“I’ve spoken to a fair few of the boys.

“Ben Brown I’ve been really close with and he’s spoken about his own knee (injury) and been there when I’ve needed help and asked for advice.

“Nathan Grima also spoke to me when I first did it, and said to be prepared... and let me know what would be happening later on with rehab and so on.”

For now, Nielson is focused on his rehabilitation, but he’s playing very close attention to what is happening each and every week as his teammates take the field.

“I’m just taking in as much as possible,” he said.

“I’m watching the boys in the backline, watching structures and then going through vision after the games and just making sure I know what’s going on structurally and obviously supporting the boys at the same time.

“It’s good to be able to get that learning process happening.”