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West Coast marking machine Jeremy McGovern in doubt for Western Bulldogs clash due to ankle injury

West Coast defender Jeremy McGovern is in doubt for Sunday’s clash with the Western Bulldogs with an ankle injury.

McGovern, who has already missed five games this season through injury and suspension, has been listed as a test.

The four-time All-Australian has only a five-day break to shrug off swelling after rolling his ankle against Essendon on Tuesday night.

Ruckman Nic Naitanui is in the frame to be rested, however spearhead Josh Kennedy and fellow forward Jake Waterman are both on track to return against the Bulldogs.

It will be 10 days since Kennedy suffered a concussion against Richmond, while Waterman has missed the past four games with a broken hand.

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West Coast football operations manager Craig Vozzo said McGovern would be given “every opportunity” to get up.

“Gov turned his ankle in the course of the game, fell awkwardly, played out the game really well and probably has recovered better than we anticipated actually in terms of swelling and movement,” Vozzo said.

Naitanui, seen as vital to the Eagles’ premiership hopes, said he expected to be rested amid the Eagles’ hectic schedule of five games in 19 days.

The Bulldogs shape as the logical opponent for him to miss, given their ruck struggles and the use of 190cm midfielder Josh Dunkley in the ruck.

“My time for a rest will come up in the next couple of games for sure,” Naitanui told 6PR.

“I’ve been saying no, I don’t need a rest. But we’re looking beyond that.”

Tom Hickey could step in for the first time since round four or West Coast could opt for youngster Bailey Williams to lead the ruck with support from Oscar Allen.

Captain Luke Shuey has been ruled out for the rest of the regular season with his two hamstring strains, however fellow on-ball star Elliot Yeo is now targeting a return against North Melbourne in round 18.

It would give Yeo an important tune-up ahead of the finals, having not played since round 11 due to a groin issue.

“Elliot is tracking well. He is probably looking now at a build into the North Melbourne game,” Vozzo said.

“He was complaining a lot on the track yesterday with all the running and aerobic work he had to do, which is a really good sign for Elliot. It means he’s closer to playing for us.”

Speedster Jack Petruccelle is likely to be available for the round 17 clash with St Kilda next Thursday following a serious hamstring injury, while the club is hoping big man Nathan Vardy would be available for the first final if required following successful surgery on a serious cork.

Liam Ryan, Brendon Ah Chee and Jeremy McGovern of the Eagles contest for a mark.
Camera IconLiam Ryan, Brendon Ah Chee and Jeremy McGovern of the Eagles contest for a mark. Credit: Paul Kane/Getty Images

Vozzo said Kennedy only had to “tick off” the captain’s run on Saturday before being declared ready to return.

“Josh is tracking really well. His test results post-concussion were actually very good in the first few days post the incident itself,” he said.

“But we wanted to take a quiet path and more conservative path for Josh and we’re all glad we’ve done that.

“He’s feeling a lot better. He trained the house down yesterday with our rehab group, expect him to be available.”

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