West Coast has delisted premiership forward Daniel Venables, but has committed to working with him to make a full recovery from a significant brain trauma injury.
The 22-year-old has been sidelined for the past 18 months following an ugly incident against Melbourne in round nine last year, when his head collided with Demon Tim Smith’s hip.
The impact of the collision was likened to that of a car crash, resulting in persistent and ongoing concussion symptoms.
Venables has not played at any level since and he is yet to be medically cleared to resume his 21-game career, which included a premiership in just his 15th match in 2018.
West Coast list manager Darren Glass said the club remained hopeful of Venables playing in the blue and gold again.
“We remain committed to helping Dan strive to play senior football at our club again,” Glass said.
“But, as it has been since the incident, our primary focus remains Dan’s health and wellbeing.
“We will continue to explore with the AFL the options available to us to facilitate Dan’s return to senior football with us as soon as he is medically cleared to do so.”
The West Australian understands Venables has been invited back to train with the Eagles after Christmas, with one option to resume his career being to re-draft him in the pre-season supplementary selection period, which opens on January 6 and ends prior to round one.
West Coast football manager Craig Vozzo told 6PR on Friday that Venables had “made really good progress over the past three to four months in particular”.
“(List manager) Darren Glass and I had a good meeting with him, his manager and his father earlier in the week,” he said.
“He wants to give himself every prospect of playing in 2021. We’re going to be guided by our medical guys, as will he.
“But that’s looking like it could be a possibility, and we’ve still got a little bit of time to make that decision.”