Eagles' Naitanui firming for AFL round one

Justin Chadwick
AAP

West Coast ruckman Nic Naitanui has taken another important step towards a round-one AFL return after making it through a tough training session.

Eagles coach Adam Simpson said Naitanui looked good during Friday's 40-minute match-simulation session, which was followed by another block of training.

Naitanui, after a successful return last week via a WAFL practice match, is firming to play against Sydney on March 25 at Perth's new Optus Stadium.

"Medically, he's fine. Now it's just about getting the conditioning element ticked off," Simpson said after Friday's club season launch.

Naitanui likely to be fit for Round 1. Pic: Getty

"He played last week for 60 minutes. We trained him up today - we had an 80-minute session.

"He seems to have gotten through that. Now it's a bit like every week - it's how he pulls up.

"If he pulls up well, we'll consider him for selection.

"He's delivering everything we're asking of him. Now it's just going to be whether it's round one or round two."

Naitanui hasn't played an AFL match since the round-22 win over Hawthorn in 2016 when he ruptured the anterior cruciate ligament in his left knee.

Simpson has moved quickly to play down any concerns surrounding forward Josh Kennedy, who has undergone a minor procedure on his leg.

Kennedy was already set to miss the first two rounds after a slower-than-expected recovery from ankle surgery.

Simpson said the two-time Coleman medallist was still on track for a round-three return.

"It's just a tiny fragment in his leg. It's a bit of a nothing issue," Simpson said.

"We had to do it at some stage. It's a minor procedure - just keeps him off his legs for a couple of days - nothing to do with knees or ankles."

Simpson said he put his charges through a tough training session on Friday to "flush out some of those demons" from last week's 62-point loss to Fremantle.