SEN West Australian correspondent Tim Gossage says while star West Coast ruckman Nic Naitanui has not had a setback with his recovery from a knee injury, he is yet to resume full training.
The 27-year-old has not played since tearing his ACL against Hawthorn in Round 21, 2016.
“He still hasn’t resumed full training. He’s doing what’s needed according to them, but he’s not doing the whole lot that I would assume by now he would be doing," Gossage told SEN Drive.
“He’s getting better, the vision you see and we get very limited of course, but he does look like he’s getting there.”
Gossage believes it will touch and go whether Naitanui will be fit enough to play for the Eagles in the JLT Series, considering he is still behind where many thought he would be tracking.
“His fitness is working at about 80 percent. He might be ready for the last JLT game, might be, but he’s still a way off.
“Has he had a setback? No, probably not. But is he behind where I think everyone thought he’d be this time before Christmas? I think the answer is yes, I still think he’s got a way to go.”
Shannon Hurn is set to retain the captaincy at West Coast for the fourth straight year, and while Gossage does not expect a change right away, one of their star midfielders appears to be the likely successor.
“The Darren Glass appointment and the handball to Shannon Hurn as captain was all based on stability, low key, keep it calm,” he said.
If you ask the playing group, are they happy with Shannon Hurn being the captain? The answer is yes. Do I think there’s another captain very close to coming? Maybe next year. I think that’s Luke Shuey. I think he is a given.
“But as this stage I don’t think there will be a change.”
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