GREATER Western Sydney's reigning best and fairest winner Tim Taranto remains two months away from being ready to play after his pre-season shoulder reconstruction.
The season's COVID-19 suspension in March has meant the gun midfielder will miss fewer games than was expected after the surgery, however he will not be ready for the Giants' return to the field when games resume next month.
Giants coach Leon Cameron said the 22-year-old, who was voted the club's best player in its maiden Grand Final season, was still some way from taking to the field.
"Tim Taranto is probably about eight to nine weeks away," Cameron said on Wednesday.
"Clearly there's going to be a benefit in the stop-start season for a number of clubs with players who've had injuries, and Tim will have that benefit which is great for our reigning best and fairest."
The ball-winner, alongside Matthew Flynn (knee), are the only Giants set to be unavailable as games resume, with former co-captain Callan Ward ready to go after his knee reconstruction in round four last year.
However, Cameron said it would be a balancing act to ensure Ward was prepared for the step up, particularly with arrangements for second-tier competitions unclear.
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"The challenge is does he need a game or two [before playing in the AFL side]? And you weigh that up between his training and seeing where he's at in the three and a half weeks," he said.
"Going on what I've seen in this short amount of time and prior to when we broke, he was knocking on the door. He's 30 years old, we trust our ex-captain to play a come out and play a really good brand of footy from the start.
"If we don't think he's ready [by round two] then we'll give him another week. Right now there's probably no reason to hold him back."
Cameron confirmed that two of the Giants' coaching staff – Jason Saddington and Alan McConnell – remained stood down as clubs are bound by the limit of 25 staff having access to players in the football department.