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  • Writer's pictureSportFM

Naitanui sidelined till back half of season

Three time All Australian ruckman Nic Naitanui will miss an extended portion of the 2022 season, suffering a medial ligament injury to his knee against Collingwood at Docklands on Saturday.

The 31 year old, who has won the past two club best and fairests as well as being All-Australian in 2020 and 2021 landed awkwardly in the final moments of the 13 point win over the Pies, scans revealing damage to his medial ligament.

“Nic was sore post game and scans have revealed what our medical staff suspected after the game,” West Coast Football manager Gavin Bell said.

“He is obviously a very important player to us, but we will take a conservative approach in managing his return which will be in the second half of the season.

“There is no definitive time line at this stage as we will monitor and adjust his recovery as required.”

Naitanui's absence leaves a hole in the Eagles ruck stocks, with the departure of Nathan Vardy (retired) and Tom Hickey (Sydney Swans) in recent seasons leaving youngster Bailey Williams and SPP selection Luke Strnadica as the likely replacements for the veteran ruckman.

IMAGE: Fox Sports.

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