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West Coast Eagles facing fresh injury blow with Tim Kelly subbed out of clash with Essendon

West Coast are sweating on a fresh injury concern to a star midfielder, with Tim Kelly subbed out in the first half of the clash with Essendon due to a knee complaint.

Kelly did the splits in awkward fashion while affecting a centre clearance as he was tackled by Zach Merrett early in the second term.

The midfielder stayed on the field for a short time before heading down the race.

He returned to the bench a short time later, but West Coast wasted little time in activating their medical sub and removing Kelly from the match.

Kelly and club staff were examining the star’s right knee before making the call to shut him down.

“I think it’s more around his knee area. I’m not quite sure, we’ll have to wait until after the game,” Eagles coach Adam Simpson said at half-time.

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Kelly returned to the bench in a polo shirt icing the inside of his braced right knee to watch the second half.

The Eagles will be hoping the injury is nothing serious given Kelly’s immense contribution this season.

The fourth-year player won the Glendinning-Allan Medal as best afield in the western derby win over Fremantle, and has been pivotal in an engine room missing Luke Shuey and Elliot Yeo for most of the year.

West Coast had another concern soon after, with Oscar Allen making an awkward landing and hitting his head on the turf while flying over Matt Guelfi for a mark attempt.

Allen played out the remainder of the second term, but didn’t re-emerge from the rooms for the start of the third quarter. The Eagles officially ruled him out a short time later due to the head knock.

Yeo eased into his return for his first match since mid-last season, with one disposal and a tackle in the opening term.

Kelly’s substitution enabled Jake Waterman to come into the game as West Coast’s sub, and he immediately got one over Bomber brother Alec by streaming forward for a goal within 22 seconds of coming on.

West Coast’s Bailey Williams could face scrutiny from the Match Review Officer after a left elbow that connected with Jayden Laverde’s face left the Bomber bleeding.

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