The West Coast Eagles will be forced into three changes ahead of Saturday night’s clash with Adelaide after forward Daniel Venables (concussion) and ruckman Tom Hickey (ankle) were ruled out by club medical staff joining dashing defender Lewis Jetta (suspension) on the sidelines.
The second term against Melbourne was a particularly unlucky one for the Eagles on Friday, with both Venables and Hickey succumbing to their injuries ahead of the major break.
“Dan copped that very heavy knock in the second quarter, we’re still going through our normal concussion protocols and testing,” West Coast Eagles general manager of football Craig Vozzo said.
“He’s not going to play this week, but we’ll know more later in the week as to the severity of it, but we’re treating it very cautiously.
“For Tom Hickey, the ankle injury he sustained was quite significant, but with some medical help was able to get back onto the ground and play a pretty significant role for us.
“But the injury is quite significant, we expect he’ll probably miss one to two weeks with the sprain.”
Will Schofield, who made way for Tom Hickey late on Friday after failing to recover from a significant knock against the Saints in round eight, is a strong chance to regain his spot in the side should he make it through the club’s main training session tomorrow.
“Will tried (with his) best efforts to get up for the game, but wasn’t quite ready to play when it came around to game day on Friday,” Vozzo said.
“He’s looking pretty good for this week, he’ll go through more tests tomorrow at training and we expect he’ll come up and play.”
Versatile tall Jarrod Brander and experienced wingman Chris Masten both missed action last weekend due to hamstring strains, both are minor, but Masten has been ruled out while Brander will get a chance to prove his fitness tomorrow ahead of the weekend.
“Jarrod Brander had an unlucky incident at training where he had a low grade hamstring awareness which ended up being a strain,” Vozzo said.
“We kept him out of Thursday night’s game against East Perth, we expect he’ll go through the protocols for hamstring recovery and be available this week.
“Chris Masten, at the start of last week, had some hamstring awareness as well and has pulled up sore.
“On scan it has shown it’s a low-grade strain, so we expect it’s only a one-week injury, possibly two.”
Signs are positive for emerging defender Tom Barrass, who commenced an assistaed running program in his bid to return from a stress-related foot injury.
“With Tom Barrass we had a bit of a milestone last week and into this week, he’s started doing some running in the gym,” Vozzo said.
“He’s pulled up really well from both those efforts, we expect later this week, or early next week, we may be able to progress onto some on-ground running.
“So we’ve turned the corner with Tom, it’ll be a slow build from here, but we’re on the positive track.”
Unfortunately fellow defender Harry Edwards the prognosis is not so good.
The 19 year-old has battled through soreness for a number of weeks but has now also been diagnosed with a stress-related injury in his foot and will miss an extended period.
“He’s had a terrific year to date for us, going well, but unfortunately suffered from some mid-foot awareness over the last couple of weeks,” Vozzo said.
“We had (the injury) tested by way of scan and there’s some bone stress we’re going to have to manage.
“We’re adopting a very cautious approach with Harry being a first-year player, he’ll be out for at least the next three or four weeks in a boot.
“Then we’ll assess his return to play from there.”