The West Coast Eagles are preparing to welcome captain Oscar Allen for an AFL return following the club's bye next week.

After undergoing knee surgery early in the season, Allen is on track to rejoin the squad, through either the seniors or the WAFL side.

"It's all tracking towards playing footy the week after the bye. So whether we work through a WAFL game or seniors, I'll talk to him after he pulls us from the little scrimmage next week," coach Adam Simpson said ahead of Saturday's North Melbourne clash.

PERTH, AUSTRALIA - APRIL 02: Oscar Allen of the Eagles kicks a goal during the 2023 AFL Round 03 match between the Fremantle Dockers and the West Coast Eagles at Optus Stadium on April 2, 2023 in Perth, Australia. (Photo by Daniel Carson/AFL Photos via Getty Images)

"Next Friday or Saturday we'll play some footy and if he pulls up well, we'll see how he goes."

The Eagles are understandably cautious about rushing Allen back into senior action, having only one game under his belt and being conscious of the tumultuous injury history the club has experienced recently.

"We're not in a rush to get him straight in," Simpson said.

"The choices we had to make last couple of years with 'just get em back in because we need them' versus getting a little bit of touch back at WAFL, we'll work through that," he added.

In addition to Allen, the Eagles are set to welcome back several key troops both now and in the coming weeks.

Star midfielder Tim Kelly is also expected to return after the bye, having been sidelined with a hip injury for the past two games.

PERTH, AUSTRALIA - MAY 02: Tim Kelly of the Eagles looks for the handless options 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)

Jake Waterman, who missed last week's match due to a shoulder injury, is ready to return this Saturday against North Melbourne.

"He's close to 100%, he trained fully yesterday... he's good to go," Simpson said after High-Performance Manager Mat Inness reported positively on Waterman's condition yesterday.

Furthermore, promising young midfielder Jai Culley will make his comeback this Saturday after recovering from an ACL injury. Culley, who was best on ground in West Coast's two-point WAFL win over Perth on Sunday, will rejoin the senior side and provide a much-needed boost to the midfield.

Balancing the return of senior players with the development of young talent is a new consideration and challenge for the Eagles, who have been left depleted over the past two seasons by injury, forced to pick anyone available over whoever's in form.

"It works itself out. We've got an eye on the future so we've got to respect the fact that we're going through a build and also got some senior players who are holding up their end as well," said coach Adam Simpson.

"Perhaps you give a younger player who might be out of form an extra week or two as opposed to a senior player."

"After the bye if we get (Tim) Kelly, (Oscar) Allen, Harley (Reid) come back into the side... there'll be some difficult discussions," he added.

"You look at form first and the profile second."

The upcoming return of Allen, Kelly, and other key players will be timely for the Eagles, as they get a taste of how these senior players mix with suspended star Harley Reid.