It has been the most publicised injury of the 2018 pre-season, will Nic Naitanui play Round 1? Reports coming out of Perth during the last few weeks have been varied, but the last update is that Naitanui could play in an East Perth practice match 9 days prior to Round 1.
Naitanui ruptured his ACL back in 2016 in Round 22 against Hawthorn, he did not play in 2017 although there were reports of him possibly making a 2017 Finals appearance.
West Coast: "He's probably unlikely to play next week.. we have to wait & see how he goes in prep for Round 1, but we've got to have a holistic picture in preparing him to play a season of footy" Nathan van Berlo on Nic Naitanui#AFL pic.twitter.com/NYNazV6y6x
— aflratings.com.au (@aflratings) March 4, 2018
Naitanui has not completed a full pre-season & has sparingly joined full training in recent times, yesterday Nathan Vardy injured his groin & won’t be available for Round 1 placing even more scrutiny on Naitanui’s availability
FANTASY TAKE: Scott Lycett assumes the No.1 Ruck role at West Coast due to his availability, he could be solo Ruck in the opening few games for the Eagles. Once Naitanui or Vardy are healthy there is likely to be a shared Ruck role for at least the majority of the 2018 season.