West Coast’s marquee midfielder Tim Kelly suffered a medial ligament injury in the Eagles 16-point loss to Essendon last weekend.
Eagles Physio Mark Finucane confirmed on the club website on Tuesday that Kelly could miss between four and five weeks of the season with a grade 2 medial ligament strain.
There’s further bad news for Eagles fans as young half-back Alex Witherden looks to also be sidelined for at least a month, having pulled up with groin soreness ahead of the West Coast’s round 10 clash against GWS.
“Tim sustained a medial collateral ligament injury in the second quarter and was subbed out,” Finucane told westcoasteagles.com.au.
“He’ll be in a brace for a few weeks. Hopefully, it’s in that four-or-five-week range.”
A big blow for the Eagles, with Tim Kelly subbed out and replaced by Jake Waterman.— Fox Footy (@FOXFOOTY) May 29, 2021
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“Alex (Witherden) had a gentle walk-jog yesterday and tolerated that well, but he’s got a slow progression,” Finucane also said of the Eagles defender.
“We won’t rush that and just monitor his response to each of those progressions.”
The West Coast medical staff are all too familiar with the susceptibility of players to long term groin injuries, having overseen Elliot Yeo’s recovery from a prolonged Osteo Pubis injury over the past nine months.
Looking to avoid another Yeo situation, the Eagles medics will be taking extra precautions over Witherden’s recovery, especially considering the impact the former Brisbane player has had this season.
Oscar Allen has also been ruled out of Sunday’s match against Carlton after the gun forward suffered a nasty concussion in last week’s game against Essendon.
“’Ozzie’ (Allen) after the first day or so is feeling a bit foggy he’s come pretty good today, so he had a light spin today on the bike and tolerated that well, and that’s part of the protocols.”
“He’ll just progress through those and looking at missing one week as per the (concussion) protocol.”
Despite having lost stoppage expert Kelly, the Eagles will soon be bolstered by the return of several A-graders, including their captain Luke Shuey.
“’Bootsy’ (Shuey) we’ll see in with the main group tomorrow as part of his build. He each week builds the volume and the intensity,” Mark Finucane said.
“We’ll see him get some higher speeds in training tomorrow and building towards that game-like volume of training as well.”
“He’s on the right trajectory, but he’s still got that three-or-four-week build from where he is at the moment, but so far so good.”
Rebounding midfielder Liam Duggan looks also ahead of schedule after undergoing surgery on his knee three weeks ago.
“’Duggo’ ( Duggan) has had a couple of runs on the ground now and by all reports moving really sharply, and the knee is tolerating that.”
“He’s got a two or three-week build. We’ll get a real indication of how the knee tolerates the more football-specific loading.”
While Jeremy McGovern still has a few boxes to tick before he can play, but the prognosis on his knee issues are showing signs of improvement.
“’Gov’ (McGovern) started his straight-line running on the ground yesterday, and the knee has pulled up well.
“He will build his straight-line running intensity, then introduce the change of direction before progressing into the footy-specific work.
There’s good news coming from the WAFL as tagging midfielder Mark Hutchings looks to have fully recovered from his injury woes, recording 21 disposals in what was a brilliant hit out for the midfielder against South Fremantle this weekend.
He’ll undoubtedly be a feature over the coming weeks to cover for the Eagles depleted midfield, along with new recruits Will Collins and Connor West, who were acquired in Wednesday’s mid-season draft.
West Coast Injury List
|Liam Duggan||Knee||3-4 weeks|
|Jeremy McGovern||Knee||4 weeks|
|Oscar Allen||Concussion||1 week|
|Luke Shuey||Hamstring||3-4 weeks|
|Tim Kelly||Knee||4-5 weeks|
|Isiah Winder||Knee||5-6 weeks|
|Alex Witherden||Groin||4-5 weeks|