West Coast skipper Darren Glass has backed long-time teammate and fellow West Coast veteran Andrew Embley to be ready to front Fremantle in Saturday's western derby despite a three-week lay-off with a hamstring problem.
Embley's pre-season was disrupted in the Eagles' round-two NAB Cup match against Collingwood, when he was subbed out early with hamstring tightness.
He has not had match practice since but has been in full training for more than a week and moved solidly in a session at Patersons Stadium yesterday.
Coach John Worsfold declared last weekend that Embley would be fit to face the Dockers.
That still left the question of match practice, but Glass, a teammate of Embley's for most of his 239 games, had no doubt yesterday that the 2006 Norm Smith medallist would be prepared for round one.
"He will be ready," he said.
Glass backed Embley's professionalism and versatility to allow him to make an impact in the derby.
"The way he prepares, the skill set he has got, Embers can impact a game on the ground and in the air and midfield, getting back behind the ball and up forward," he said.
Glass also said he was happy for Eric Mackenzie to play on Fremantle skipper Matthew Pavlich, who kicked eight goals on him in last season's second western derby.
Mackenzie has already publicly said he would like to play on the Dockers superstar again and Glass, who has repeatedly rated Mackenzie ahead of himself at the same stage of his career, said he would back Mackenzie to do the job.
He indicated that getting a beating from a very good player was just part of a power defender's lot in life.
"When you play on good players week in and week out, the record isn't going to stay good forever," Glass said.
"You get beaten and some weeks you win. That is just the way it works out as a key defender.
"I am very comfortable with Eric on Pav.
"He is only 24, Eric, and so he is coming into the prime of his career."He has got plenty of experience now and has been elevated into our leadership group."
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