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Injuries mount at West Coast Eagles

By Kim Hagdorn
9 May 2012 07:29PM EST

HIGH flying West Coast Eagles are set for another injury hit with mounting prospects that tough tagger Patrick McGinnity will be ruled out of action with a broken hand.

McGinnity looks certain to join veteran defensive on-baller Adam Selwood on the sidelines for Saturday’s potential AFL match-of-the-round showdown with Essendon in Melbourne.

McGinnity, 23, is expected to miss at least two weeks and possibly three with his injury.

It is understood the gritty nullifier wants to resume in West Coast’s home ground derby against bitter rivals Fremantle on a Sunday evening in Perth to complete Round 9 at the end of this month.

West Coast is also closely monitoring a brave bid from big ruck force Nic Naitanui to resume action against the in-form Bombers after a hamstring strain forced him to miss last Sunday’s brave win over North Melbourne in Perth.

West Coast is the only undefeated AFL outfit after six rounds of the premiership season, despite a horribly rising injury rate.

The imposing Naitanui was due to train behind closed doors at Eagles headquarters in Perth under lights on Wednesday night in a full test of his possible recovery.

How the colossal ruck star recovers on Thursday morning from his full training workout is expected to largely determine if Naitanui is recalled to take on Bombers big pair Tom Bellchambers and Paddy Ryder at the important stoppages.

It seems more likely that Naitanui is held out of action for one more week and most probably resume against St Kilda at home a week after the Bombers shootout.

West Coast is already coping with severe casualties with the loss of star sharpshooter Mark LeCras for a year, as well as Mark Nicoski, Josh Kennedy and veteran Andrew Embley for large chunks of the season.

The loss of McGinnity and Selwood further drastically reduces the Eagles hopes of curtailing raging in-form Bombers ball winners Jobe Watson, Brent Stanton, Angus Monfries and Dyson Heppell.

McGinnity had not previously been revealed among West Coast’s drastically mounting injury toll.

He bravely played out the Eagles sixth straight win to launch the season, but scans on Monday revealed the fracture and a medical prognosis of at least a fortnight out of action.

Selwood needed stitching to badly torn webbing between his fingers and could also have a broken bone in the hand from the same incident in the Eagles 25-point win over North.

West Coast is already searching their small forward ranks to replace dangerous sharp-shooter Ashton Hams who copped a two-week suspension for a high hip-and-shoulder it on key North play-maker Andrew Swallow.

Gritty utility Koby Stevens looks a certain replacement for a midfield run-with assignment on the Bombers ball-winning brigade while lively small forward Murray Newman, just 18, could make his debut.

West Coast are likely to have burly defender Mitch Brown available to add depth to the Eagles backline to tackle the Bombers powerful forwards Michael Hurley or Stewart Crameri, if both are passed fit to play.

Hurley is tipped to return after recovering from a hamstring complaint, while Crameri is battling to overcome bruising in his knee after a heavy tumble to the turf with hefty Brisbane back man Daniel Merrett on top of him.

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