West Coast coach John Worsfold

Rest best for key Eagles: Worsfold
Friday, April 13, 2012 - 11:03 AM

WEST Coast coach John Worsfold says the Eagles will consider resting players for Sunday's clash with Greater Western Sydney if there is potential for them to benefit from a week off.

With veteran Andrew Embley sidelined for at least three months following shoulder surgery, the Eagles will be forced to make one change to the team that beat Melbourne by 108 points, but there could be more.

Worsfold said he would look at the benefits of resting his senior players for the trip to Sydney. Captain Darren Glass could be the main candidate, as could young midfielders Andrew Gaff and Luke Shuey, both of whom who suffered interruptions late in the pre-season.

"The more senior players like (Dean) Cox, Glass, (Quinten) Lynch, we would weigh that up, but most of those guys have had some downtime in the pre-season in the build-up already," the coach said.

"Josh Kennedy, Shuey, (Matt) Rosa, Gaff, all had different types of preparations for the season and in some cases the benefit at the moment is getting more ground time into them.

"In some cases we might be looking at lightening their load we have to weigh those things up."

Worsfold said it wasn't critical to rest his senior players at this point of the season, but Glass was the player the club was most conscious of managing after the skipper experienced groin soreness towards the end of last season.

"He's feeling really good at the moment [but] he has a history over 2010, missing a lot of footy with his groin operation, and getting sore towards the end of 2011.

"He's probably one we'll give most consideration to. The other guys we'll discuss and weigh that up. A lot will depend how they feel getting through the main training session tomorrow."

Embley, who was expected to undergo shoulder surgery on Wednesday, will not be able to run for a fortnight, and his recovery time is between 12 and 16 weeks.

Worsfold said the decision to have Embley's troublesome left shoulder operated on was based on the high risk of it being reinjured during the season, given it has already popped out of its socket twice this year.

"Only having three on the bench plus a sub now, if you lose a player early in a game then you are potentially a little bit disadvantaged," the coach said.

"Weighing up the likelihood that it may dislocate again, looking at how easily it came out last time, it really meant that there was too much risk of continuous dislocations, so we decided to get it fixed."

The Eagles have a number of players in form and ready to replace Embley against the Giants, with Sam Butler, Patrick McGinnity, Koby Stevens and Jacob Brennan all pushing their claims.

Worsfold said the club had proved it has the depth to cover injured players, with Josh Hill and Ashton Hams impressive in the opening two rounds in the absence of injured forwards Mark LeCras and Mark Nicoski.

Nicoski, who faces between 12 and 14 weeks on the sidelines following two rounds of hamstring surgery, has suffered an infection in his recovery and has been hospitalised.

Worsfold said the complication, which followed his second round of surgery, would not extend the 28-year-old's recovery.

"He had a high fever I think, so that generally means there's an infection somewhere," the coach said.

"They basically had to find out what was going on there and he's coming good now. We expect him out in the next day or so.

"[There is] no setback on his timeframe. It's just not nice to feel crook."

About the AFLCA
2014 Final Leaderboard
111 Robbie Gray (Port Adelaide)
95 Nathan Fyfe (Fremantle)
83 Josh Kennedy (Sydney)
80 Lance Franklin (Sydney)
72 Gary Ablett (Gold Coast)
72 Scott Pendlebury (Collingwood)
72 Matthew Priddis (West Coast)
70 Dyson Heppell (Essendon)
68 Joel Selwood (Geelong)
66 Jordan Lewis (Hawthorn)
66 Luke Parker (Sydney)