WEST Coast star Nic Naitanui is on track to make his anticipated return from injury in Sunday's clash against Richmond after joining teammates for a light training session on Monday. 

Naitanui trained with the main group at the Eagles' Mineral Resources Park base, pulling up well from his WAFL hitout against South Fremantle on Saturday. 

The star big man, who played limited minutes and finished with 26 hitouts, 17 disposals and two goals, said he intended to put his hand up for AFL selection, with a second WAFL match not an option this week due to the competition-wide bye. 

"I've done the bulk of the work training the last few weeks, so to actually get some match fitness against South Fremantle was pretty good," Naitanui told the club's website. 

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"A lot of the AFL boys think about their minutes and trying to get back in the AFL side, but for me it meant a bit more than that. 

"I'll probably try knock on Simmo's door and see if I can get back in the side at some stage. 


"The boys played well and I put my hand (up) and did everything I could. I just enjoyed being back playing footy."

Naitanui had not played since suffering a medial ligament injury in round four against Collingwood, with his absence coinciding with a club record nine-game losing streak at AFL level.  

An injured Nic Naitanui after West Coast's win over Collingwood in round four, 2022. Picture: AFL Photos

His return on Saturday helped inspire the club's first WAFL win of the season just a day after the AFL team's confidence-boosting 10-point victory against Essendon.

The 32-year-old will return to an Eagles team finally taking on a familiar appearance as the club's availability issues ease. 

Defender Alex Witherden was excellent in the WAFL with 27 disposals and 12 marks after not being required as the medical substitute against the Bombers. 

Alex Witherden in action during West Coast's clash against Port Adelaide in round six, 2022. Picture: AFL Photos

Midfielder Xavier O'Neill also made an instant impact in his first WAFL game since round one after recovering from a knee injury, pushing his case for senior selection with 27 disposals and five inside 50s as an accountable midfielder. 

Tall defender Harry Edwards took an incredible 23 marks against South Fremantle as a dominant intercept defender, with midfielder Greg Clark (27 and six tackles) also impressive.