BEAU Waters' long-awaited return to AFL football has been delayed further after West Coast coach Adam Simpson revealed the veteran was continuing to be plagued by shoulder issues.
Waters has not played AFL football since July 2013.
He has had multiple shoulder operations and continued to suffer setbacks throughout the 2014 season.
The 2012 All Australian appeared on track for a return during the NAB Challenge, but Simpson said on Wednesday that has been put on hold due to another setback.
"He's still continuing to work through his issues with his shoulder," Simpson said.
"He's by no means clear sailing. At the moment we're still working through his body and what he can put out and as we increase training levels of intensity it's what he can manage."
Waters had been participating in training with the exception of full contact.
Simpson had previously stated that Waters did not need to prove himself in that regard – but that attitude has changed.
"We've exposed him to certain levels but not a match simulation element of contact," Simpson said.
"That's another box he's got to tick.
"We want to give him every chance to play senior football but we're not going to put his long-term body at risk.
"Being able to pick up his kids long-term and live a normal life after AFL … the way he plays he needs to be cherry ripe.
"We're aware of that and we'll manage him in the right way."
The Eagles coach could not put a timeframe on when Waters could play again.
"That's too far away," Simpson said.
"It's been a really slow progression. It's never going to be smooth sailing. There's always going to be ups and downs, so we haven't put a date on it."
The 28-year-old is in the final year of his contract. He stood down from the vice-captaincy last season to focus on his shoulder rehabilitation.
Waters has played 120 games since he was drafted with pick 11 in the 2003 NAB AFL Draft.
He has missed three full seasons over his 11 years in the League due to injury.