Nic Nat Ready For Senior Return

Eagles star ready to rumble

Nic Nat Ready For Senior Return Getty Images

West Coast ruckman Nic Naitanui has declared himself ready to go for Sunday's clash with Sydney, saying his body is as good as it's ever going to be.

Naitanui hasn't played an AFL match since rupturing the ACL in his left knee 19 months ago but he's a strong chance to return this weekend after ticking all the boxes.

The 2012 All-Australian made it through a WAFL practice match earlier this month, then impressed in an intense match simulation session last Friday.

If Naitanui can make it through Thursday's main training session, he's almost certain to be named against the Swans for the game at Perth's new Optus Stadium.

"I probably feel about 90, 95 per cent, but it's as good as I'm ever going to be," Naitainui told the Seven Network.

"I'm not going to go out there underdone and not having confidence I can play footy so I'm feeling ready to go."

Naitanui said the match simulation session gave him confidence his body would be able to hold up to the rigours of elite football.

West Coast enter the season with injury clouds surrounding several key players. 

Star forward Josh Kennedy will miss at least the first two rounds while he continues his recovery from ankle surgery.

The two-time Coleman Medallist underwent minor surgery on his knee this month, which could delay his return by a further week.

Ruckman Nathan Vardy is set to miss at least another six weeks after his groin injury was worse than first thought.

Recruit Brendon Ah Chee (ankle) is still at least four weeks away from resuming but dynamic small forward Willie Rioli (ankle) is a chance to face the Swans. 

West Coast have been widely tipped to suffer a slide down the ladder this year, with AFL great Robert Walls even predicting the Eagles will finish last. 

But Naitanui is optimistic West Coast can defy the doubters.

"We do have a lot of people that we need to prove wrong," Naitanui said. 

"Finals is what we aim for, it's what every team aims for, and it's something we look forward to."

AAP

;