West Coast forward Mark LeCras is now expected to miss several weeks of football after suffering a hip complaint earlier on this season.
The 30-year-old was a late withdrawal from the Eagles’ clash with GWS in round 10 due to a hip injury, but returned the following week against the Gold Coast and also featured against Geelong last weekend.
Eagles coach Adam Simpson believes the injury is affecting the star forward’s form, and suggested the club need to “shut him down” for a couple of weeks in order to get him fit and healthy.
“He’s just not playing at a level that he can hold his position in the side with carrying that injury as well, he can’t get back to his best,” Simpson told reporters on Friday.
“We need to shut him down for a week or two and build him back up.
“People play injured all the time, so it’s not an excuse, he just probably can’t reach the same levels physically with that injury so we give him a few weeks off.”
LeCras has struggled in recent weeks, and hasn’t kicked a goal in his last four games, and is averaging just 13 disposals per game during that stretch.
“I think the most important thing about LeCras’ form is what I think of it,” Simpson said.
“Some of the things he does off the ball and how he’s played at stages this year we’ve been really pleased with, so I won’t worry about that (external criticism).
“You can’t just rate players on goals, I mean come on. It’s important part of someone’s game, but the Essendon game I think he had 18 (14) touches and kicked three points.
“Are we saying if two of those were goals we’d be happy? We need to move on from that one (topic).”