West Coast youngster Rhett Bazzo has taken his first steps in a return to the club following the tragic death of his mother Kylie last month.
Eagles coach Adam Simpson confirmed the 19-year-old had been back at the club “a little bit” in recent days as he comes to terms with the loss of his mother in an unfortunate boating accident south of Perth.
Simpson said he expected the young defender out and about at club training in “the next few days” in positive signs as a return to play date remains insignificant.
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“As expected, football’s taken a back seat. He needs to work through the grieving process and look after his family,” Simpson said on SEN Radio.
“There’s a funeral that he needs to take care of and we’re here to support him. He’s been at the club a little bit over the last couple of days, in and out.
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“Integrating back with the players is part of the process but not the first priority, so we’ll let him take his time.
“I think he’ll enjoy the time he comes back and try and get back to some normality if that’s possible. We’ll give him some space.
“I would say it might be in the next few days you might see him walking some laps, but we’ll take our time with it.”
The news of Bazzo’s impending return to training comes as the man allegedly behind the wheel of the boat at the time of the fatal crash appeared in court charged with two counts of manslaughter.
John Burdon, who was injured and lost his wife alongside Bazzo’s mother in the crash, was granted $100,000 surety bail after making a brief appearance in a Mandurah court.
Simpson said the club remained committed to supporting Bazzo through this terrible time.
“Unfortunately he’s been injured for a few months. His release when coming back will be unfortunately rehab,” the Eagles coach said.
West Coast will host Port Adelaide in match simulation on February 24 before taking on Adelaide in an official practice match to be broadcast on Fox Footy on March 3.
Story Credit: foxsports.com.au