West Coast Captain Luke Shuey pulled up well after playing 80 minutes in the WAFL on Saturday.
It was the first time in over a decade that Luke Shuey has played a game in the WAFL.
The Norm Smith Medalist made 22 disposals and four tackles in a dramatic five-point win over Subiaco, helping the Eagles WAFL side record their first win of the season.
After undergoing hamstring surgery earlier in the season, Shuey will now stake his claim to start on Sunday against the Western Bulldogs if he can get through training this week without any hiccups.
He’ll likely be joined by Tim Kelly, Brad Sheppard, and Jeremy McGovern, whose return will bolster the Eagles squad back to full strength.
It’ll also mean that this weekend will be the first time in nearly a year the West Coast have been able to start their choice midfield of Tim Kelly, Andrew Gaff, Nic Naitanui, Luke Shuey, and Elliot Yeo.
Shuey, who had 22 touches, made seven marks, and four tackles on Saturday, looked like he was back to his form of old and will now set his sights on returning to senior football for the first time since April.
“He looked like he was almost back to full fitness today, even with the long lay-off he’s had,” Eagles reserves coach Daniel Pratt said after the game.
“He was pretty handy as well; he had some good moments. I’d assume if he pulls up well that he’ll be available and play.
“But if he needs to tick some other boxes, we’ll see what happens during the week. He looks pretty good at the moment.”
Similar to Elliot Yeo, we’re anticipating Luke Shuey, along with Tim Kelly and Jeremy McGovern, will all be limited on minutes, which does present a question of how the Eagles will use their interchanges next Sunday.
The West Coast used 70 of their 75 interchanges last weekend against Richmond, so running out of substitutions shouldn’t present a problem, but it’s how they will look to rotate these players considering each injury which will be interesting.
Tim Kelly sustained a low grade-two medial ligament strain against Essendon in round 11 and has been out of action now for the expected four weeks.
Meanwhile, McGovern has taken a little longer to recover from a tough knee injury that has kept him out of the side since the Eagles played Adelaide at the back end of may.
Both players will likely be monitored along with Shuey, having not played in over four weeks.
Elliot Yeo is another player whose minutes have been limited on his return from injury, but having played over his limit last week against Richmond, Yeo could play longer this weekend after recovering well from the match.
“Having those extra minutes was great, but you’ve got to be careful in the same sense, but I’ve pulled up great,” Yeo told 96FM.
“It’s been a great stepping stone at this stage, and the more minutes I can play, the better. I feel like I’m one of those types of players that can really get in the game and sort of grind it out, so it’s hard when you’re always stop starting, you’re coming on, you’re feeling good, get your hands on the footy a bit, and then you go and sit on the bench for five-ten minutes.
“Yeah, it can be a bit frustrating, but I’m starting to get my head around what my interchanges are.”
The West Coast’s backline will also be back to full strength this weekend, with All-Australian defender Brad Sheppard returning to the field after sustaining a nasty concussion against Carlton’s Adam Saad in round 12.
Bounding in confidence from their wins against Carlton and Richmond, and with a raft of key players returning to the starting 18, the Eagles pose a serious threat to the Western Bulldogs this weekend.