Nic Naitanui will miss Eagles' pre-season campaign. Photo: Getty Images
Star West Coast Eagle Nic Naitanui will miss the start of the club's AFL pre-season campaign after deciding to undergo surgery to fix a niggling groin complaint.
Naitanui, who was bothered by the injury during the latter stages of his 2012 All-Australian campaign, hoped an eight-week rest period during the off-season would fix the problem.
But after feeling discomfort this week, Naitanui consulted a specialist, who advised him surgery would be the best option.
Naitanui will have the procedure next week, but the Eagles expect him to be at full fitness by the start of the season.
"We expect Nic to begin running early in the New Year and progress his recovery to be ready for the start of the season," West Coast football operations manager Neale Daniher said.
Naitanui took his game to another level in 2012, with the 22-year-old's sublime rucking skills earning him a maiden All-Australian jersey.
The 201cm Fijian, who was snared with pick No.2 in the 2008 national draft, booted 24 goals in 22 games to form a formidable ruck combination with Dean Cox.