Whitfield was suspended for six months for hiding at former Giants’ official Craig Lambert’s house in order to avoid drug testers last season, with the help of former GWS football chief, Graeme Allan.
He is not allowed back in to the club until mid-year, but it hasn’t stopped the 22-year-old working as hard to ensure he returns to the club in top shape at the half way point of the season.
Coach Leon Cameron said that while it is bitterly disappointing he cannot be out there with the team for the first half of the season, Whitfield has a strict plan in place while out of the game.
“I can catch up with him and talk about what’s going on in his life, but not about footy or what’s going on at the club,” Cameron said in an interview with AFL.com.au.
“He’s going OK, but it is disappointing. I’m not going to sit here and say everything’s rosy, because it’s not. It’s disappointing he’s not preparing to play in the opening game of the JLT series. We’d love him to be here and he’d love to be out there.
“He has planned it out meticulously well. He has identified the charity work he needed to do, areas for growth and how he is going to train and have an impact.
“He’s a hugely popular player at the footy club, his family has been through a hard time and hopefully time will fix all that up.”
Whitfield has played 72 games with the Giants, including 21 last year, since being selected with pick No.1 in the 2012 National Draft.