West Coast draftee Oscar Allen hopes to be fit for the start of the AFL season, despite a hampered build-up.
The tall forward arrived at the Eagles with a tibia stress fracture and has been on a restricted training program.
Allen had an outstanding draft year that saw him win the Larke Medal at the AFL Under-18 Championships.
He's only just started to join in with some of the skill work in training, as up to then he had been mainly swimming, doing weights and running on the Alter-G treadmill.
"I've spent a lot of time in the rehab group with some of the senior boys," said Allen.
"It's something which is slowly but steadily progressing, and I'm hoping to be getting to full fitness around the time of the start of the season."
The West Perth product, who was recruited with pick No.21 in the draft, added:
"Fortunately for myself I've never had any serious injuries until this, so it's been a bit of a learning curve trying to deal with not being out on the track as much as I would like to be. But it's also a real character-building thing, so I think it can be a positive for me in the future."
Allen has alongside some big-name Eagles in the rehab group, with Josh Kennedy (ankle), Andrew Gaff (foot/ankle), Elliot Yeo (hip), Luke Shuey (hip), Eric Mackenzie (toe) and Lewis Jetta (calf) on modified programs at various stages.
Forwards coach Jaymie Graham said the youngster had a hunger for work, and it was great to see him starting to join in with training.
"(He was) really leading the way with the rehab group and some of the senior boys in that group were impressed with his work ethic, so that's a good start," added Graham.
West Coast are 13/10 to win the Grand Final. The Eagles are 1/250 to finish in the top eight.
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