PERTH, AUSTRALIA - AUGUST 14: Nic Naitanui undertakes running drills during a West Coast Eagles AFL training session at Domain Stadium on August 14, 2017 in Perth, Australia. (Photo by Paul Kane/Getty Images)

West Coast have confirmed veteran ruckman Nic Naitanui is likely to miss the opening half of the 2023 season as he continues to nurse a troublesome Achilles injury.

Naitanui was initially sidelined for the start of the season, with a pre-season Achilles concern continuing to keep the 32-year-old off the track.

The Eagles had hoped Naitanui would only miss the opening rounds of the year, however further assessment has forced West Coast to place Naitanui under a considered management program that will see ruckman sidelined until the middle of the season.

West Coast football boss Gavin Bell revealed Naiatnui's rehabilitation process hasn't been as smooth as initially hoped.

“Nic has not progressed from his Achilles issue as quickly as hoped and he will need a period of time before he can increase his training loads and build towards returning to play,” Bell said in a club statement,

“Nic has been working hard behind the scenes in the gym to build his leg strength, particularly his calves, so that when he is ready to resume playing we see the same explosive and dynamic footballer he has always been.”

Naitanui has faced numerous injury issues across his career, with a knee injury limiting the ruckman to just eight appearances last season.

The Swan Districts product has played more than 17 games in a single season just once in the past six years, tallying 82 matches in that period.

West Coast have relied on second-string ruckman Bailey Williams to lead Adam Simpson's ruck plans to start the year, while fringe ruck option Callum Jamieson has been sidelined with an ankle injury.