There were positive signs however as the 23-year-old joined his teammates in a light training session at Punt Road oval. There were no signs of struggle due to the injury he picked up in last week’s clash against North Melbourne.
If Nankervis isn’t ready by Sunday, backup ruckman Ivan Soldo will be on called upon to take on Nic Natinui and the Eagles.
“(Toby has) got to get through training today, we’re reasonably confident at this stage, but that’s not to say that doesn’t change by the end of training,” Hardwick said before the session on Friday.
“We’ll make a pretty early call on that because he’s such an important player for us, and if it takes a week (to heal), it takes a week. If he plays, he plays.
“We’ll make a call after training today.”
Soldo played seven games in 2017 after debuting early in the season. He was taken with pick 68 in the 2014 NAB AFL Rookie Draft.
“Have you seen Soldo play in the VFL? He’s pretty good,” Hardwick said.
“We’re really pleased with his progression as a player and he’s 205cm, he’s a big boy and he covers the ground really well, so we’re really excited about what he has to offer.
“He’s ready to play AFL footy, there’s no doubt about that, we’ve just got the added problem that we’ve got one of the best rucks in the AFL in Toby Nankervis.
“Look, if Toby doesn’t play we’re more than happy to take Soldo over there because he’ll give them a good run for their money.”