Adam Simpson has dashed any hopes of West Coast getting a wave of reinforcements for their clash against Greater Western Sydney this weekend, confirming none of the injured Eagles are certain to be available.
The Eagles’ injury crisis left them with just 23 fit players to pick from against Melbourne on Sunday and saw them having to borrow players to field a WAFL team.
And the news has only gotten worse with Liam Ryan suspended for a week, on top of a hamstring concern, and Luke Foley entering the AFL’s concussion protocols after a heavy tackle from Demon Kade Chandler.
Simpson told Channel 7 Luke Shuey was likely to be the only player to return at this stage but added he still needed to get through training this week.
“If he gets through the week, he will be right to go,” he said.
“The other boys (Elliot Yeo, Andrew Gaff and Shannon Hurn) will all be touch and go; unfortunately, they’re not quite ready.
“Defiantly out with Liam (Ryan) and Luke Foley.”
Dual Coleman Medalist Josh Kennedy, who was a late withdrawal in the 74-point loss to Melbourne, may also be an unlikely chance to return, with Simpson confirming he had been carrying the injury and was “hanging in there” to do “everything he can to play”.
Willie Rioli is not expected to return until after the bye, even though he returned to the club and training on Monday after heading to the Tiwi Islands to visit family.
Despite the lack of playing stocks, Simpson said his side had begun to find an identity in an improved performance against the reigning premier.
“I thought after the initial onslaught. . . we were relatively in the game,” he said.
“The numbers suggested that there was a contest, and we were competitive.
“We walk away thinking there is some identity there but obviously not happy with the overall result.”
While there were visible improvements with West Coast nearly winning the third quarter, Simpson admitted it was tough to be competitive with the players all being at such different stages of their careers.
“We’re trying to be as competitive as we can, but we understand as a coaching group and playing group that the fans want to see effort,” he said.
“It doesn’t sound like too much to ask these days, but when you have a young group in different positions (including) guys probably not quite ready for the rigors of AFL footy, that’s a start point for us.”