Influential backman Jeremy McGovern is a chance to return alongside several other West Coast stars for the club’s first final, while Dom Sheed and Brendon Ah Chee should be available for Thursday night’s round 18 showdown with North Melbourne.
McGovern went down on the stroke of half-time against St Kilda, forcing him to the sidelines to watch on as his teammates dug deep for a stirring final quarter comeback.
The four-time All Australian fortunately avoided going under the knife and will have been out of action for three weeks to the day by the time finals are due to start on Thursday, October 1 – albeit the Eagles won’t know their fixture until after round 18.
“Big Gov, he was playing so well prior to the hamstring on the weekend. Fortunately, when all the scans came back we avoided the surgery, which was great, but he’s still looking at a significant hamstring strain,” General Manager – Football Craig Vozzo told westcoasteagles.com.au.
“He’s probably looking at a three-to-four week period but tracking really well. Early signs are good, moving around quite well already and we’re on the up.”
The Eagles expect Sheed (hamstring) and Ah Chee (finger) to be available to take on the Roos after both trained strongly on Monday.
“Dom wasn’t too happy he wasn’t picked last week but we took a precautionary approach because he had a minor hamstring strain,” Vozzo said.
“All things being well if he gets through our Captain’s Run he’ll be play this week against North.
“Brendon is going well. He had a finger injury which was too sore and swollen to play last game.
“But he got through (Monday’s) session unassisted other than taping, so that was really good. He feels really confident in it. If that maintains he’ll be available for selection this week.”
West Coast’s midfield depth has been tested recently but skipper Luke Shuey (hamstring), Jack Redden (thumb), Elliot Yeo (groin) and Mark Hutchings (hamstring) are targeting the first final.
“Great news with Luke. He turned the corner probably seven-to-eight days ago. He did part of that (Monday) session and looked really sharp,” Vozzo said.
“It would be nice to play him this week, but we can’t. All things being well he’ll be ready for the first final.
“Jack, we had a lot of luck. We were very fortunate. We were thinking Jack’s season might be over but fortunately the surgeon … was able to put in a plate, which we didn’t know going into the surgery whether that would be plausible, and it was. He’s tracking really well. He’ll be pushing his case strongly for the first final.
“Elliot is running. He’s on a separate program, more of a rehab running program to keep him fit and slowly building.
“It’s probably more frustrating for him and for us that we haven’t quite elevated to where we need to be at the moment, so he won’t play against North and we’ll keep assessing week by week.”
Superboot Lewis Jetta ran laps with Yeo on Monday and is building following a calf strain.
“If there was a game the week after North he would be available for that,” Vozzo said.
“He’s in a rehab program and build phase because he’s had previous problems with the same calf. We expect him to be available for selection in our first final.”