After pulling up sore after the Bulldogs clash, West Coast forward Josh Kennedy is expecting to return this weekend against St Kilda.
The spearhead has been monitoring a tight calf for the last few weeks, and says Sunday’s rest against Adelaide was the right call to make.
He’ll undergo medical assessments later in the week, after a light session today and main training.
“I’m more than likely to play but I’ve still got to get through some stuff in the next couple of days,” Kennedy said.
“Still working to see where it’s at, but I did some light training on Sunday, which it felt pretty good so I think having the weekend off was the right call.
“The staff, they know my body better than me because I’ve made some calls in the past that probably haven’t gone my way, so I’ve kind of got to back them in.”
The Eagles now prepare to face St Kilda at Optus Stadium, and are preparing for a tough contest after being overrun by the Saints at Marvel Stadium in round four.
Despite entering three quarter time 10 points ahead, St. Kilda were able to swing the momentum in the fourth and finish off the match 15.12 (102) to the Eagles’ 13.4 (82).
Both teams are now battling for a spot in the eight with only five rounds remaining in the season, making this a critical clash toward securing a finals position.
“It’s a great challenge for both teams this week. We’re fighting for I suppose that seventh, eighth spot,” Kennedy said.
“They’ve been playing some really good, consistent footy, so we know it’s going to be a step up for us and a big challenge for us to get the win over here.
“Obviously last time they ran over us in that last half, hopefully we can play some consistent footy over four quarters which will hopefully get us the win.”
West Coast will also be hoping to carry a ‘few little tweaks’ into the match against St. Kilda, with the updated playing style leading to a 42-point win against the Crows on Sunday.
Kennedy credited minor positioning changes to the backline’s increased intercept marking, as well as pressure around the contest.
“The way we’ve been able to defend the last couple of weeks, teams have been able to pick us apart a little bit with their ball movement, and we’ve been able to win it back,” Kennedy said.
“I think a few little tweaks and a few little changes here and there, which we haven’t been too much, but I think it’s given the guys a lot better opportunity to set up and work as a unit together, be more connected on field.
“I think we’ve had a few forward inside 50 turnovers, which is a positive, which is something that we need to get back to because we haven’t done it for a few years now.
“Little things like that are coming in, and then off that ball movement has been a little bit better.”
The 33-year-old also commended father-son debutant Connor West, and his solid ability to win the contest.
West topped the Eagles’ chats in contested possessions at 13 on Sunday, as well as coming first in the side for pressure acts.
“It’s fantastic, you kind of take a step back and look at the bigger picture of it all, it must be a whirlwind for him,” Kennedy said.
“He’s gone from just working, playing at West Perth, all of a sudden on a Wednesday afternoon gets drafted to West Coast Eagles, he’s in the club on a Thursday.
“He starts training, obviously we go to Melbourne for a little bit of a COIVD hub for a week, he gets away with the boys and within a week or two he’s playing his first AFL game, so it would be a whirlwind for him.
“He can obviously find the footy and also compete with it, so it was great to see him get his first game, I think he did really well.”