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Eagles happy with Wellingham progress

January 18, 2015 12:16:21 UK

West Coast Eagles are happy to see influential playmaker Sharrod Wellingham get back on track ahead of the new season.

Wellingham was hailed as a significant signing when he returned to his native Western Australia in a 2012 trade following a five-year stint with Collingwood.

We’re more than happy with his progress this pre-season and particularly now that he is back in full training with the main group. So barring any further setback he is on track for full commitment to us from here on.

Craig Vozzo

However, the midfielder, who played in the Magpies’ 2010 premiership side, has been limited by injury and poor form to just 23 games across his first two seasons with West Coast.

He suffered an ankle injury while on a trampoline during pre-season before he had played his first game for the Eagles and battled lower leg and ankle problems last year.

Another serious ankle problem hindered his progress late last year, but he has finally returned to full training ahead of what is the final year of his contract.

Eagles football boss Craig Vozzo, whose side are 2.15 to finish in the top eight, said the 26-year-old is on course to play significant amounts of four practice games.

“The best thing with Sharrod this pre-season is that he is probably going to get in more training in the lead up to the season than either of his previous two summers since joining us even taking into account the time he has spent in rehab this summer,” said Vozzo.

“We’re more than happy with his progress this pre-season and particularly now that he is back in full training with the main group. So barring any further setback he is on track for full commitment to us from here on.”

Former vice-captain Scott Selwood, who had ankle surgery late last year, is still targeting a return in round one against the Western Bulldogs on Easter Saturday.

However, the on-baller, who was the Eagles’ best-and-fairest winner in 2012, is certain to miss most of the summer NAB Challenge series.

Vozzo said: “There’s no requirement for a time line with Scotty and that’s why we have adopted a very conservative approach with his program. We have to make sure he is fully recovered and that he is not inhibited or in any pain when he is fully recovered.”

West Coast are 1.52 to win their first game of the season against Western Bulldogs, who are 2.55 to win themselves.

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