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Kennedy wants to help Eagles win

Travis King, AFL.com.au  July 15, 2017 8:30 AM

AFL 2017 Round 04 - West Coast v Sydney

Josh Kennedy says he is looking forward to taking on Fremantle tomorrow

Winning a third-straight Coleman Medal is the last thing on star West Coast forward Josh Kennedy's mind ahead of his much-anticipated comeback in Sunday's crunch Western Derby.

Kennedy has been forced to watch from the sidelines for the past five games as the Eagles slipped out of the top eight while he recovered from a frustrating calf/Achilles strain.

The 29-year-old was also leading the race for a record-equalling third consecutive Coleman Medal with 34 majors when he went down during West Coast's round 10 loss to GWS.

He is now nine goals off the pace set by Sydney superstar Lance Franklin, but isn't worried about claiming the League's goalkicking award again this year.

"I just want to get a few more wins on the board – that's pretty much my focus, and getting back playing," Kennedy told AFL.com.au.

"If the goals come it's an added bonus.

"Hopefully we can push for finals, because that's the main thing."

Kennedy was close to returning in last round's loss to Port Adelaide before "the doc had a gut feel that he didn't want to risk it".

But after almost a month back in full training, the champion goalkicker is confident he will be able to play close to a full game in his normal hard-running role this Sunday.

"All the training I've been able to do it, so I should be all sweet," Kennedy said.

"Having an extra week of training will help being able to handle being out there on your legs for so long.

"It's feeling really good and I'm looking forward to getting back out there."

Kennedy sent a major scare through the Eagles camp and felt like he'd "been shot" when he collapsed to the ground against the Giants.

He heard a "pop", felt a "grab" and then "instant pain" as he tried to change direction during the fourth quarter.

"I thought straight away it was Achilles," Kennedy admitted.

"It pretty much felt like I'd been shot.

"It was where the Achilles meshes with the calf and nicked off the side there, so I think that’s what the pop was.

"I just thought, 'It's gone, (I'll need) surgery'.

"You're a bit shattered obviously … especially when you see other boys in the League go down and then miss up to 12 months."

Although talls Drew Petrie, Jeremy McGovern and Jack Darling have combined for 20 goals since the bye, Kennedy's return for the 46th Western Derby is timely with West Coast fighting for a finals berth.

The Eagles' vice-captain was the difference in round six, when he won back-to-back Ross Glendinning Medals after bagging six goals against the Dockers.

"It's going to be a good test, they're in some good form and had a good win away and we've been struggling a bit over the last month," Kennedy said.

"Consistency around the contest has been our biggest thing.

"You just notice when things are going well, the boys are winning the footy and they're cracking in hard.

"But it's those times when we don’t hit in hard and we don't win those contests it seems to slip away.

"Teams have been able to get momentum shifts and we haven't been able to stop them."