Star West Coast midfielder Elliot Yeo will make his long-awaited playing return in the WAFL this weekend, but defender Jeremy McGovern looks set to miss Sunday’s AFL clash with GWS.
Yeo has spent more than nine months on the sidelines with osteitis pubis, with his last match coming in round 11 last year.
But after months of slowly building up his workloads, Yeo will be unleashed in West Coast’s WAFL clash with East Perth on Saturday.
Eagles coach Adam Simpson isn’t sure how many weeks Yeo will need in the WAFL, but says the All-Australian will get between 50-80 minutes of match time this week.
“This is part of the progression. We do eight to 10 minutes of match sim at main training and that’s not enough for him anymore,” Simpson said.
“So he needs to hit some more bodies. He’ll do that this week and we’ll see how he pulls up and we’ll go from there.
“It (his trademark explosiveness) is still there, he can still kick 60m. He doesn’t look any different.
“He’s just a bit de-conditioned, so we’re working through that.
“The next phase is 60 or 70 minutes of contests, repeat speeds, efforts, waking up sore the next day everywhere. It’s part of his preseason really.
“It’s exciting that he’s not far away, but we’re not going to rush him back.”
McGovern appears unlikely to play against GWS at Giants Stadium after picking up a knee injury in last week’s win over Adelaide.
There’s even a possibility it could rule him out for more than one week.
“He’s a small chance (against GWS), but more unlikely than likely,” Simpson said.
“He just got a little knock when he had a kick and someone smothered the ball.
“It sort of crept up on us a little bit. What started as a niggle we’ve got to investigate a bit more. I reckon we’ll get clarity this afternoon.”
Former skipper Shannon Hurn (calf) and All-Australian forward Liam Ryan (shin) are set to return provided they pull up well from Thursday’s main training session.
The Giants will be without star Toby Greene (fractured shoulder) and utility Harry Perryman (hamstring).
Nick Haynes and Sam Reid are on track to return from injury while key forward Jeremy Finlayson is available after serving his one-game suspension.