West Coast Eagles star Nic Naitanui accepts that his side will have to cope with a lengthy injury list when they get their new AFL campaign under way.
Thirty-one-year-old Naitanui has spent the whole of his career to date with West Coast, with the Eagles priced at 7/4 to finish in the top eight this season.
However, he admits that fitness issues could hamper their chances, with Oscar Allen, Tom Cole, Jamie Cripps, Dom Sheed, Luke Shuey, Elliot Yeo and Campbell Chesser all currently sidelined.
"The current reality is that we do have a lot of injuries. It's something that I know I've never seen throughout my career here at the club," Naitanui told Fox Sports.
"I think the calibre of people that are out, too, makes it tougher, but that's the nature of football clubs. You have events that affect you throughout the year.
"Having injuries is just another part that happens. We've faced this before, maybe not to this extent, but the next soldier steps up."
West Coast just missed out on a Finals Series place last season as they finished in ninth place in the regular-season standings.
Back in 2018 they claimed their fourth Premiership as they edged out Collingwood in the Grand Final, with their previous successes having come in 1992, 1994 and 2006.
Naitanui missed that latest triumph after suffering a serious injury to his left anterior cruciate ligament during a regular-season clash with the Magpies.