A host of key West Coast players are set to be available for Sunday’s pivotal clash with the second-placed Western Bulldogs as the Eagles’ injury list begins to shorten.
Jeremy McGovern (knee), Tim Kelly (knee), Brad Sheppard (concussion) and Jack Petruccelle (hamstring) only need to get through training this week to put their hands up, while skipper Luke Shuey pulled up well from his WAFL return.
Shuey is preparing to be back for his first AFL game since round three at Optus Stadium, and the Eagles’ match committee will face some tough calls following the epic win over Richmond before the bye.
“We had a good week at WAFL last week, both in terms of result and the guys coming back from injury getting through unscathed,” General Manager – Football Craig Vozzo told westcoasteagles.com.au.
“Luke obviously headlined that, did a really good job, got through 75-odd minutes and he is available this week – as is Brendon Ah Chee (calf), Alex Witherden (groin) and Jarrod Brander (adductor) who all got through that game coming off injuries really well.”
The bye came at a good time for West Coast, and now cavalry will be arriving for the run home.
“We’ve got a whole group of guys that will be available this week, assuming they get through main training,” Vozzo said.
“Good news regarding ‘Gov’, Brad Sheppard, Tim Kelly and Jack Petruccelle. All they need to do now, touch wood, is sign off on Thursday at main training and match committee will have a few headaches in picking the team hopefully.”
The Eagles are set to lose mid-season rookie recruit Connor West for one-to-two weeks due to a rolled ankle, but fellow mid-season rookie recruit Will Collins is on track to return from a hamstring strain against East Fremantle.
“We were worried about Connor about it being potentially a longer tem injury but we had good news on scan and it’s more of a plain vanilla-type ankle sprain,” Vozzo said.
“Plenty of swelling and the normal-type stuff with an ankle sprain. We’re expecting it to be up to a two-week injury and possibly shorter, so it was good news.
“Will Collins had a slight hamstring strain after his first game for us a couple of weeks ago against Claremont. He’s recovered well from that and if he gets through main training he’ll be available to play on the weekend.”
In more positive news, zippy forward Isiah Winder (knee) has returned to main training and also set to be back in action soon, while back pocket Ben Johnson (hamstring) is also close to resuming.
Jarrod Cameron Ankle TBC
Will Collins Hamstring Test
Ben Johnson Hamstring 1 week
Tim Kelly Knee Test
Jeremy McGovern Knee Test
Jack Petruccelle Hamstring Test
Brad Sheppard Concussion Test
Daniel Venables Concussion TBC
Connor West Ankle 1-2 weeks
Isiah Winder Knee 1-2 weeks