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West Coast Eagles

Shattered Eagle left to 'put on a brave face'

PERTH, AUSTRALIA - SEPTEMBER 08: Brad Sheppard of the Eagles leaves the field injured during the 2018 AFL Second Qualifying Final match between the West Coast Eagles and the Collingwood Magpies at Optus Stadium on September 08, 2018 in Perth, Australia. (Photo by Adam Trafford/AFL Media)
Brad Sheppard leaves the field in pain on Saturday night

SHATTERED West Coast defender Brad Sheppard knew straight away his finals campaign was over after feeling "sharp pain" when he pinged his left hamstring against Collingwood.  

Sheppard is likely to undergo surgery later this week to repair his tendon and will need up to three months to recover.

It was a heartbreaking blow for the 27-year-old, who has established himself as a key backline lieutenant under Adam Simpson and played every game since the start of 2015.

"I'm a bit devastated with the news I won't be taking any part in the finals series now," Sheppard told TAB Radio.

"I'm sort of coming to terms with what's going on but understanding that as a club we're in a great position with a home prelim.

"So, I've got to put a brave face on with the boys because I think we've got a real chance this year."

Sheppard went down entering time-on in the first term after a slight push from opponent Jordan De Goey caused him to overextend and lose balance.

"The severity of the pain, I knew I was in trouble," he said.

"It's the first time I've done a hamstring, and speaking to all the physios post-game, everyone said it doesn't look great.

"But I was still positive. I still did all the icing in the hope it was only going to be a minor one."

After seeing how star Nic Naitanui dealt with his heartache at a second ruptured ACL, Sheppard is trying to remain upbeat.

He could now take on a role mentoring young backmen Liam Duggan and Tom Cole.

"They both performed really well in the final the other night. I'll try to help out as much as I can, because I don't really want to distance myself too much from the boys," Sheppard said.

"I've been there all year, and love the footy club and what it's about, if I can take part still in what's to come that would be great."