West Coast ruckman Nic Naitanui is facing a delayed start to pre-season training after opting to have surgery on his troublesome groin.
The 2012 All-Australian was hampered by the injury in the latter stages of the season, but was expected to have fully recovered following an eight-week break after the Eagles' semi-final loss to Collingwood.
The 22-year-old returned to pre-season training at the start of the week but still felt discomfort in his groin and after seeing a specialist it was decided that the best course of action was to undergo surgery.
However, the club are hopeful Naitanui will be back running in early January and don't expect him to miss any matches of the season.
"Nic was managed in the latter stages of the 2012 season and, based on medical advice, we were hopeful that with a good rest period he would avoid the necessity for surgery," football operations manager Neale Daniher said.
"Because Nic was still sore after a lengthy period of rest, we booked an appointment for him to meet with a specialist today. As a result of that consultation, Nic will have surgery next week.
"We expect Nic to begin running early in the New Year and progress his recovery to be ready for the start of the season."