The West

Naitanui still has chance for round one: Glass
Darren Glass at training. Picture: Lincoln Baker/The West Australian

West Coast will set no timeframe for Nic Naitanui's return from off-season groin surgery but are yet to rule him out of the club's round one western derby with Fremantle.

Naitanui is yet to resume full running and walked and did mobility drills with training staff away from the main group when they trained at McGillivray Oval this morning.

Last season's skipper Darren Glass said the star ruckman's recovery from the surgery remained a work in progress.

“I don’t think there is any timeframe on Nic’s return but I think he is progressing really well and is a chance for round one,” he said. “He is doing his rehab program at the moment.”

Glass also played a straight bat to speculation about his role as captain, declaring a decision would be made whether he will retain the role in due course.

“There is no time frame with that," he said. "Woosha has been away.

“I am happy with what the club decides. If they want me to continue I am happy with that, if they think the time is right for someone else then I am more than happy with that as well.”

While last year's deputy Beau Waters shapes as the obvious replacement should the Eagles opt for a change, Glass said it was more critical that the team had good leadership depth.

“I think we have got a couple of guys. More important than who is captain I think it is the depth you have got with your senior players.

“We are in a great position where there are a lot of players that are pushing hard now and setting a great standard on and off the field.”

Glass said he was training strongly and feeling at least as good as he did ahead of last season.

“Feeling great," he said. "I have been training really well and feeling great and obviously the intensity will pick up now between here and round one.”

He said it was too early to discuss the Eagles' premiership prospects.

“The aim over the pre-season is always to improve as much as we can. That is the focus every day.”

“We think that if we can improve a lot over the summer we give ourself a good chance of being towards the top of the ladder again.

“I am not sure what every individual player thinks but I think we are aware that our best should be good enough.

“Round one is still a long way away and a lot can happen before then.

“You don’t really start to think like that until you are well and truly into the season.

“I think we will get improvement out of a lot of the group. I think we have got a lot of players, guys like Scotty Selwood, Luke Shuey, Andrew Gaff, Jack Darling, guys like that who intend to improve.”

The West Australian

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