West Coast's highly-publicised injury woes worsened yet again on Friday night, with premiership forward Jack Darling and promising youngster Jamaine Jones both failing to finish the Eagles' 70-point loss to the Gold Coast Suns.
Despite starting the night in his customary key forward role, Darling finished the rout on the bench after coming from the ground during the third term with a left forearm injury.
Though Darling would receive treatment and eventually make his return to the action, the 30-year-old ran out the clock alongside Jones who was left nursing a broken nose following a collision before half-time.
Speaking post-game, head coach Adam Simpson shed light on Jones' ailment, claiming that despite the knock, the in-form 24-year-old had no desire to head to the bench.
"We'll get an X-ray and see how it is," Simpson said of Jones' suspected break.
"He didn't want to come off. I know he cops a lot, and sometimes when you're out of form that's what it is. But he loves this club, and he loves his teammates … he wants to help."
The Eagles confirmed on Saturday that Darling sustained a fractured forearm, with an unknown return to play listed.
“It was really brave of Jack to return to the field after suffering the injury during the third quarter and do what he could to help the team,” General Manager – Football Gavin Bell said.
“Unfortunately, x-rays have confirmed Jack has fractured his forearm.
“He will see a specialist this week and the club will determine his rehabilitation program and recovery timeframe from there.”
At 1-8 and with a meagre percentage of 60.5, The Eagles' on-field form has been cause for concern for Simpson. However, with Darling and Jones now set to join the lengthy injury list at Lathlain, the task of finding wins without troops is Sisyphean at best.
Prior to their Friday night day with the Suns, West Coast had already been asked to operate without 18 of their 45-man list, with the ilk of Nic Naitanui (Achilles), Jeremy McGovern (hamstring), Liam Ryan (hamstring), Elliot Yeo (groin) and skipper Luke Shuey (ankle/hamstring) all amongst the sidelined mass.
Due to the fresh pair of setbacks, Simpson will be forced to do battle without more than 44 per cent of his roster.
Ironically, Darling's latest injury setback came on the same day that former club champion Josh Kennedy knocked back the opportunity to lace the boots for the Eagles' struggling WAFL side.
In speaking to SEN WA on Friday, the bearded dead-eye that hung up the boots at the cessation of last season claimed that although West Coast's WAFL coach and Australian Football Hall of Famer Rob Wiley had made enquiries about his services, his days inside the forward arc were over.
“I am definitely not (playing in the WAFL),” Kennedy divulged.
“I can't even get through training at the moment for Northampton. There's no chance I can get through a game at WAFL level.”
At present, West Coast's threadbare reserves have failed to taste any success this season, forging on to an 0-5 record under Wiley and a ghastly percentage of just 30.34.
Simpson's senior side will earn their best shot at earning a second win for the year when they travel to face Hawthorn at the MCG next Sunday afternoon.