West Coast Eagles star Nic Naitanui says he has to learn to stay on the ground to prolong his AFL career

Staying ground-bound might be smart thinking for Nic Nat.Nic Naitanui has made a career off the back of his dynamic aerial ability, but the West Coast ruckman says the next part of his development will be learning to stay on the ground.

Naitanui made his long-awaited return to the park at East Fremantle Oval on Saturday, picking up 14 disposals and 33 hit-outs in a practice match for East Perth after 568 days on the sidelines.

The 27-year-old yesterday told 7 News Perth he woke up without any soreness in the left knee he had reconstructed at the end of 2016 in a positive sign for his return to Eagles colours.

โ€œThe only soreness is just kind of general soreness, your quads and your hammies and things like that blow up just like any other game,โ€ he said.
โ€œI guess the accumulation of it all over the next coming weeks will be a true test to see how my body holds up.โ€

He said recovery will continue to be monitored in coming days as the club decides whether to play him in the Royalsโ€™ next scratch match against South Fremantle on Saturday or run him through an intense training session at the club at the end of the week.

via West Coast Eagles star Nic Naitanui says he has to learn to stay on the ground to prolong his AFL career