Staring down the barrel of a knee reconstruction, West Coast’s Nic Naitanui has admitted it’s actually his heart that hurts.

The 28-year-old AFL star had recently returned from an injury to his left knee when, on Sunday, he awkwardly landed on his right.

On Tuesday, Naitanui’s comments on Instagram, together with a snapshot of his late mother Atetha accompanied by music, were his first since the incident.

Times like this I wish I had your shoulder to cry on all day or a massive hug to say it’ll all be ok. Time to suck it up n soldier on. My heart hurts right now but if you know me there’s some poor soul confronting tougher trials and tribulations in the world ❤️ God gives His hardest battles, to His strongest soldiers #watchmeprevail

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