PERTH, AUSTRALIA - SEPTEMBER 08: Brad Sheppard of the Eagles holds his left hamstring during the AFL Second Qualifying Final match between the West Coast Eagles and the Collingwood Magpies at Optus Stadium on September 8, 2018 in Perth, Australia. (Photo by Paul Kane/Getty Images)

A decision on whether West Coast defender Brad Sheppard will take part in the Eagles' 2022 campaign is said to be just days away.

Sheppard, 30, has suffered from repeated head knocks and ensuing concussive symptoms across the course of his 12-season career, with the latter bringing his most recent year to a premature close.

After suffering delayed symptoms following a knock in West Coasts' Round 22 Derby loss to Fremantle, Sheppard was forced to watch on from the stands as the Eagles failed in their bid to secure a finals berth the very next week in Brisbane.

Sheppard also spent a three-week period on the sidelines this season after being stretchered off after a collision with Carlton defender Adam Saad in Round 12.

According to SENthis particular tangle with the bearded Blue left the 2020 All Australian unable to use either his phone or television due to the severity of his concussion.

While the details of tests run on Sheppard are yet to have been relayed, Channel 7 reporter Mark Readings has claimed a diagnosis is imminent.

“I think we all agree he’s an elite footballer and has been for some time, but my information coming out of the club and around football circles that he is just days away from finding out whether he will be playing in 2022 off the back of concussion issues he’s had throughout the latter part of the year,” Readings relayed on SEN Sportsday WA. 

Citing the fact that recent trends suggested the Eagle could have his wings clipped ahead of his return to pre-season training, Readings suggested it appeared likely Sheppard would sit out the entirety of next season.

“Medicos are becoming more and more vigilant in regards to the health and safety of players," he continued.

"I think Eagles supporters and Brad Sheppard and indeed the club will be bracing for the fact that he may not be out there next year off the back of a medical decision which would deem him unhealthy to play in 2022.

“This is not a fact, but it is certainly a concern for the Eagles and Brad Sheppard moving forward. It’s a big story if it does come to pass.”

GEELONG, AUSTRALIA - APRIL 24: Brad Sheppard of the Eagles runs with the ball during the round six AFL match between the Geelong Cats and the West Coast Eagles at GMHBA Stadium on April 24, 2021 in Geelong, Australia. (Photo by Robert Cianflone/Getty Images)

Sitting across the desk from Readings, former Docker Paul Hasleby explained that as West Coast's roster was aging, there remained a real possibility that the former top-10 draftee would remain on the club's list.

"He has been a great player and he will be 31 in May, 12 months off, given the demographic of the Eagles squad, they do have to let some of their older players go and they opted to keep Shannon Hurn and perhaps that’s one of the reasons," the 2000 Rising Star winner pontificated.

“Perhaps they didn’t want to lose Sheppard and Hurn at the same time given how good they are in the backline."

Hasleby then went on to raise an array of names that could fill Sheppard's boots for Adam Simpson in 2022.

“They have coverage with Luke Foley, I was impressed with him last year, Josh Rotham shows a bit, Alex Witherden has come in recently," he continued.

“From an Eagles standpoint, it’s not going to be the be-all and end-all, but what a career it’s been.”

PERTH, AUSTRALIA - MAY 02: Josh Rotham of the Eagles marks the ball during the 2021 AFL Round 07 match between the West Coast Eagles and the Fremantle Dockers at Optus Stadium on May 02, 2021 in Perth, Australia. (Photo by Daniel Carson/AFL Photos via Getty Images)

Should his results return bearing bad news, Sheppard will need to draw on the same reserves of resilience that saw him through the Eagles' successful September in 2018.

The Perth-born backman missed out on a place in the club's fourth premiership team after suffering a hamstring injury sustained during West Coast's qualifying final win over Collingwood.