BRISBANE defender Darcy Gardiner is playing it cautious but is optimistic of overcoming a knee injury to be fit for the season start.

Gardiner suffered a PCL injury to his right knee at a training session in Hobart last month and is still sporting a heavy brace.

The Lions have put no definite timeframe on his return, instead allowing the 23-year-old to tick off one milestone at a time.

“Hopefully over the next week I might start running and then put it back on to be safe,” Gardiner said.

“It just depends how strong it feels.

“I’ve had a few injuries before so I understand it and how they work, be patient with it, let thing heal up, there’s no point rushing back for one week and doing something to it again.

“I’ve got to take my time, heal up and be ready to go when the team needs me.”