THE FIRST two years of Aaron Nietschke’s AFL career have been tougher than most.

He moved down from South Australia after being selected with pick No.53 in the 2018 National Draft, before rupturing his ACL in the lead up to his debut season.

Just 10 months later, in the final stages of his recovery, lightning struck twice for the luckless defender, going down with the same injury to sideline him for a second straight season.

While the club has had to delist the 20-year-old in the lead up to 2021, it will be re-signing him via the Rookie Draft in December.

“Aaron has had an injury interrupted two seasons at the club,” General Manager of Football Facilities and Administration Josh Mahoney told Melbourne Media.

“He is a great character who has stayed involved in the program, assisting with coaching last season, and we think he has the potential to be a very good player in the future.

“We will re-draft Aaron as a rookie and look forward to seeing him have an injury-free run and further developing as a footballer.”