Star midfielder Tim Kelly and exciting forward Liam Ryan have today been confirmed as fit to play in tomorrow night’s match against Essendon at Optus Stadium.
Both missed last week’s game against Geelong with influenza, but have recovered and will resume against the Bombers.
Also coming into the line-up is defender Josh Rotham who played in the ruck for the WAFL Eagles last week and produced a best-on-ground performance. He will more likely resume in defence as the replacement for four-time all-Australian Jeremy McGovern who spent several days in hospital this week.
McGovern was laid up with broken ribs and had surgery to implant a protective plate but is now home convalescing.
Also absent will be midfielder Dom Sheed who made a strong return to the team last week in his first senior match of the season. Sheed has shin soreness and with a six-day break did not recover sufficiently to play.
With Sheed rested he is effectively replaced by Kelly, while also making way for the return of Ryan are defenders Jackson Nelson and Greg Clark, who was the medical sub against the Cats.
He has been named on the extended interchange bench with defenders Alex Witherden, Luke Foley and Harry Edwards. A member of that quartet will be retained as the substitute player for this game.
Being a Friday night game the club has the benefit of the Eagles playing the following evening against South Fremantle, allowing for a sub who has limited or no game time to play in the WAFL fixture at Mineral Resources Park.
That game will feature the return of star ruckman Nic Naitanui on managed minutes.