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West Coast Eagles

SJOG Injury Report: Fitness test awaits defensive duo

SJOG Health Care Injury Update: Round 19 General Manager of Football Craig Vozzo runs us through the players currently on modified programs

All Australian backmen Shannon Hurn and Jeremy McGovern will undergo fitness tests later this week to determine their availability for West Coast’s clash with North Melbourne at Optus Stadium.

Click here to view this week's St John of God Health Care Injury List

Hurn missed Sunday’s win over Melbourne after sustaining a calf strain during the team’s captain run, while McGovern turned an ankle during the fourth quarter at Traeger Park.

General manager of football Craig Vozzo said the defensive duo would be given every opportunity to prove their fitness for the critical round 19 fixture.

“Unfortunately with Shannon he had that slight calf strain in our captain’s run over in the Northern Territory. He’s pulled up quite well and we’ll do some more work with him through the week and he’ll be a test later in the week,” Vozzo said.

“We were all holding our breath when big Jeremy went down in that last quarter, but he came on and finished the game quite strongly.

“He’s got, basically, a sprained ankle. We’re hoping that we get enough recovery this week. He’ll do some more work on Thursday, take it easy until then and we’re hoping he’ll be available.”

In more positive news, pressure forward Jamie Cripps and dashing defender Liam Duggan are ahead of schedule in their recoveries from respective abductor and ankle ailments.

Vozzo said the pair should be available for section in two to three weeks.

“Jamie has made some really good progression, probably faster than we all expected with that abductor injury. He’s been ramping up his training probably ahead of schedule and we’re expecting he’s probably another two or three weeks (away),” he said.

“Liam with his ankle syndesmosis injury is probably further advanced than we expected. He has started kicking as well as some change of direction with his running. We’re expecting two to three weeks and he’ll be available to play.”

Nathan Vardy (ankle) will be available for selection this weekend, while Mark Hutchings is just one week away from returning from his hamstring strain.

Vozzo also revealed that Josh Smith had avoided surgery after injuring his hamstring during the WAFL Eagles’ win over West Perth at Mineral Resources Park.

“We were thinking possible surgery with his hamstring injury, but the good news was that we’ve avoided surgery,” Vozzo said.

“It is a significant hamstring strain, so he’s probably another five to seven weeks in recovery and then rehab phase.”

While the WAFL Eagles lose Smith, they are set to reclaim exciting onballer Xavier O’Neill, who has missed two state league games with hip tightness.

He will undergo a fitness test later this week in a bid to face Subiaco at Leederville Oval on Saturday.