West Coast’s unbeaten start to the season has been marred by injuries to key players.
Mark LeCras has re-injured the arm he broke at the start of last season and “will miss weeks” while Beau Waters has been ruled out for the entire season.
This comes just a week after half-back Shannon Hurn was sidelined for up to six games with a knee injury.
LeCras was subbed out of the Eagles 25-point win over St Kilda at Patersons Stadium on Saturday night, late in the first quarter.
He received a knock to his right arm and was too sore to continue playing.
Coach Adam Simpson said he expects him to miss a number of weeks.
“It could be the same issue he had in the past with his arm. We don't know yet. It doesn't look great,” Simpson said.
“He'll miss weeks.”
The Eagles had some difficulty finding the right balance in attack once LeCras left the field. Will Schofield replaced him and went into defence, with Mitch Brown moving forward.
But LeCras' injury may see the end of the three-ruckman tactic the Eagles have used in the opening three rounds.
Callum Sinclair could head back to the WAFL, leaving Dean Cox and Nic Naitanui to handle the big man duties.
“It probably tells you a bit about playing so tall sometimes. If you lose someone like LeCras, the balance goes out of whack a little bit. Schoey came on and did a serviceable job but he's not a forward so we had to adapt to the game,” Simpson said.
“I've always said as long as they can put pressure on and comply to what we're trying to do forward of the ball, and we know what they can do in the ruck and around the ground. It just makes it difficult when there is someone like LeCras out of the side.
“We'll address that during the week.”
Josh Hill is likely to replace LeCras in the side that will meet Geelong at Simonds Stadium next Saturday.
Hill has played the past two games with East Perth in the WAFL and kicked 3.1 in a winning side on Friday night.
“He's [Hill] dying for a chance so you'd assume he'd be in the mix this week,” Simpson said.
“He had a really good performance at East Perth last night. We'll see how it all settles tomorrow and we'll go from there but we've got some options.
“Your depth gets tested all the time. So this is just probably one of those challenges that we'll confront. We've had pretty good numbers pre-season. We've lost a few guys but we think we can replace them with a few guys at East Perth.”
After playing just seven games last season, Waters, 28, requires surgery to the same shoulder that he went under the knife to fix last August.
It’s a massive blow for the defender, who was getting ready to resume playing before his latest set-back.
“I think we have to assess when the time is right. There is no rush; I think it’s going to be the season – we have to make sure it’s all clear for the infection before we go in, so it may be another two or three weeks before we go in – it is the season though,” Simpson said.
Sharrod Wellingham was a late withdrawal from Saturday night’s clash against St Kilda due to groin soreness, but is expected to be available to play against the Cats next week.