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Naitanui still three away

Alex Malcolm  April 17, 2013 2:35 PM

AFL 2012 Training - West Coast Eagles 140912

Nic Naitanui is back in training but still a few weeks away from a senior return


ALL-AUSTRALIAN ruckman Nic Naitanui is still three weeks away from being considered for selection at West Coast, according to his coach John Worsfold.

The number two draft pick from 2008 has not played since the semi-final against Collingwood last year after suffering significant groin problems during the pre-season.

Worsfold said Naitanui's recovery was progressing smoothly.

"Everything appears to be going really well. It's great having him on the training track," Worsfold said.

"From what I've seen he's been stepping up his workload so there's no holding him back at the moment.

"He's progressing with a view to be back playing pretty soon."

But Worsfold still could not pin point the exact date of Naitanui's return.

"It was always around three or four weeks of full training so he might only be a week into that or even only one session, I'm not really sure," he said.

West Coast have suffered a horrible run with injury so far this season.

Naitanui, Daniel Kerr, Mark LeCras, Mark Nicoski, Patrick McGinnity, Sharrod Wellingham, Brad Sheppard, Beau Waters, Andrew Embley, Matt Rosa and Eric Mackenzie have all been sidelined in the early stages in 2013.

LeCras and Kerr returned last week and McGinnity played for Claremont in the WAFL. Mackenzie and Rosa are back to full fitness but Nicoski is still at least amonth away despite running freely at training.  

Wellingham, an off-season recruit from Collingwood, is also still weeks away from returning after an ankle injury sustained on a trampoline.

"He's about the same as Naitanui. About three weeks, something like that," Worsfold said.

Adding to the Eagles woes, Brant Colledge, a third round draft selection last year, suffered a broken jaw in WAFL on the weekend.

Rookie listed player Jeremy McGovern also broke his ankle playing for Claremont a fortnight ago.