West Coast will be without small forward Jamie Cripps indefinitely after he returned home from Queensland yesterday for the birth of his first child.
Cripps flew back to Perth to be with his partner Olivia, pictured right. The Eagles said the return had been planned for a long time, but with the club at the start of its compressed fixture and Cripps needing to quarantine for 14 days in WA, he won’t be available to return to Queensland until at least round 18.
West Coast have applied to the AFL to host that round 18 game against North Melbourne at Optus Stadium, which may allow him to spend more time at home.
But with the Eagles still having to quarantine if that request is granted, it is not known how Cripps would be re-integrated back into the group.
“We knew this was a likely scenario and as a club we are fully committed to the family first mantra,” Eagles football manager Craig Vozzo said.
“We will offer every possible support to Jamie and Olivia as they approach the most exciting event of their lives.
“We are not sure when Jamie will return, we will work through those logistics at the appropriate time.”
Cripps will miss matches against Essendon, Western Bulldogs and St Kilda.
The forward has kicked only eight goals for the year but adds vital experience to the young forward line.
West Coast are also planning to be without Coleman medallist Josh Kennedy as he recovers from concussion.
The forward line is already without Jake Waterman (hand), Jack Petruccelle (hamstring), Jamaine Jones (hamstring), Willie Rioli (ASASA suspension) and Daniel Venables (concussion).
Several AFL players have returned home or decided to stay in their State since the hubs began to be at the births of children.
Collingwood’s Steele Sidebottom and North Melbourne’s Jamie Macmillan left Queensland this week.