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West Coast hopeful on Kennedy as cavalry gets set to return


West Coast coach Adam Simpson was positive about the fitness of key forward Josh Kennedy after he went down with an ankle injury on Thursday night.

The club’s all-time leading goalkicker limped off the ground before half-time of last night’s grinding 15-point win over North Melbourne at Metricon Stadium.

After the game, Simpson indicated that it was not too serious, describing the left ankle issue as a "garden variety" roll.

The Eagles have two weeks to prepare for their first final which should be enough time for Kennedy to recover provided the issue is no worse than initially thought.

“I think he’s ok. It’s a new injury to his ankle,” he told reporters.

“He’s walking around so I think it was more a precautionary thing but we’ve got to see how he pulls up.

“It could just be a ‘garden variety’ roll but we won’t know until he pulls up.

“After the game I was just told he rolled his ankle so we’ll find out tomorrow (Friday).”

The Eagles have had to endure a number of injuries to key players over the past few weeks but the cavalry is set to return with a handful of players expected back for whoever and whenever they play in the opening week of the finals series.

Simpson says the likes of captain Luke Shuey, Jack Redden, Mark Hutchings, Lewis Jetta and Jamie Cripps, who have all been out of the side of late, will be back but was reserved regarding star defender Jeremy McGovern and Elliot Yeo who are nursing hamstring and groin injuries respectively.

“We’ve had a bad run with our good players getting injured,” Simpson added.

“We got Dom (Sheed) back, but we lost 'Gov' (McGovern), so we were still pretty depleted tonight.

“Hopefully the week off gives us a good opportunity to get those guys back including 'JK' (Kennedy).

“Hopefully Hutchings, Jetta, maybe McGovern, Shuey, Redden, Cripps, don’t think Yeo will be available.

“There’s a few there.”

Simpson expanded on McGovern who faces a race against time with his torn hamstring.

“He’s probably less likely than likely, but I reckon there’s going to be a knock on my door,” he said further.

“Every day counts. We won’t risk him, but he’s got over the little hurdle of the feel of it. Now, he’s into the running program.”

The Eagles momentarily moved up to third position on the ladder on the back of the win, however, Richmond and Geelong below them are still to play in the final home-and-away round.

They need to rely on one of those sides losing in order to gain a top-four finish and subsequent double chance, otherwise they’ll be hosting an Elimination Final in Perth.

West Coast Eagles

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