West Coast midfielder Elliot Yeo has been ruled out of the Eagles' Round 1 meeting with Gold Coast.
Yeo struggled throughout 2020 with osteitis pubis and has been on a restricted training program all summer.
The 27-year-old managed just 10 games last season before his year was grounded to a screeching halt by the debilitating groin injury.
While it looks like Yeo is through the worst of it, there would be some small fears from the Eagles as they are well aware this injury can take a very long time to properly heal.
That'll be the sealer!
— AFL (@AFL) May 4, 2019
They witnessed this first hand with former skipper Chris Judd, who was rendered to barely a walk by the 2007 finals series, while more recently former Essendon forward Joe Daniher has battled the injury for nearly two years.
Speaking with AFL Media, Eagles coach Adam Simpson was unable to give a clear return date for one of his key midfielders, but confirmed Yeo would miss the Suns clash.
“He won’t be round one, but he’ll hopefully be in the early part of the year,” he said.
“If he’s not training with the main group now it’s (round one) probably not going to happen.
“With the pre-season, you used to start in November so you’d have this chronic load where you could miss a few weeks and then just get back into it.
“You miss a few weeks now and you’ve got to rebuild your fitness because you’re not quite there yet.”
Yeo isn't the only injury concern for the Eagles with stars Josh Kennedy, Tim Kelly and Nic Natanui all in a battle to be fit for round one.
No Naitanui, Sheppard or Barrass (personal) on the track for @WestCoastEagles this morning.
Kennedy moving well. Likely to see minutes this weekend. Tim Kelly too.
Gaff moving gingerly, copped a few hits on Saturday.
Yeo running - moving a little better than he has been.
— Ryan Daniels (@FootyRhino) March 1, 2021
Kelly and Natanui are expected to be good-to-go for Round 1, while Kennedy is still touch-and-go at this stage.