Premiership favourites West Coast are feeling the pinch on the injury front for the first time this AFL season with coach Adam Simpson expecting to be without Elliot Yeo for up to five games due to a lingering groin issue.
Yeo pulled up sore from the club’s recent win over Carlton and he was a late withdrawal from Sunday’s 32-point triumph over Hawthorn after failing to recover in time.
Simpson predicts Yeo will miss several weeks, which comes at the worst possible time for the Eagles given they are about to enter the most crammed part of their fixture.
West Coast will play five games in 19 days, starting with Sunday’s clash with Greater Western Sydney in Perth.
“He got a little bit tight last week and we didn’t know how he would recover, so we gave him until (Sunday),” Simpson said of Yeo.
“It might be an osteitis type of issue, so we were hoping it wasn’t.
“It just hasn’t pulled up well, so he might be out for a few weeks, which might mean five games.”
Fellow midfielder Jack Redden will join Yeo on the sidelines after injuring his adductor in the win over the Hawks.
Forward Jake Waterman is set to miss at least three weeks after breaking his hand at training last week, while out-of-favour ruckman Nathan Vardy was sent to hospital on Sunday after suffering a bad cork during a practice match.
Simpson isn’t sure whether Vardy will require surgery, but the premiership ruckman could miss the rest of the season.
“It’s a corky that just bled really bad,” Simpson said.
“It’s compartment syndrome. He’s in the hospital at the moment.
“What was a corky – and we managed him in the back half of that scrimmage – is now a serious issue, which we’re hoping he’s OK.”
In better news, defender Liam Duggan (hamstring) and Mark Hutchings (knee) will be available for selection against the Giants.
West Coast’s seventh successive win has them fourth on the ladder, and they have a game in hand on the teams above them.
Hawthorn are 16th with a 4-7 record and there are fears that defender James Sicily tore the anterior cruciate ligament in his right knee against the Eagles.
Sicily will undergo scans in Adelaide on Tuesday with the Hawks bracing for the worst.