Eagles play it safe with Naitanui

24 February 2021 19:10:36 GMTPlus10

West Coast Eagles have said star ruckman Nic Naitanui has a minor hamstring injury and they will not take any chances on him during pre-season.

Naitanui has had his injury issues over the past couple of years, and although this latest problem is nothing serious, the Eagles are adopting a conservative approach.

The reigning club champion sat out Friday night's intraclub match and has also taken it easy in training in the early part of this week.

This week's practice match against the Fremantle Dockers is also a no-go and Eagles football manager Craig Vozzo says there is no need to take any risks at this stage of the year.

"Nic pulled up with a tight hamstring after a training session last week and given the time of year we are just managing him conservatively," Vozzo told the club's website.

"He has had a low-key start to the week on the track and we will build up his workload later this week and next with the intention of him playing some game minutes in our AAMI Community Series match."

The Eagles will also go easy on a number of other key players, including Josh Kennedy, who has a minor calf issue and will also miss the game against Fremantle.

The game will also come too soon for Tim Kelly who has been making his way back from a broken thumb. The star midfielder is back in training but the thumb has been heavily strapped and he is not yet ready to play.

West Coast will get the new AFL campaign underway against Gold Coast Suns.

The Eagles are priced at 12/1 to win the AFL grand final.

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