Cox to see out season

Defiant West Coast veteran Dean Cox has declared he won't make a decision on his playing future until the end of the 2014 season.

Responding to speculation that he could follow champion defender Darren Glass into retirement to create room in the Eagles team for young ruckman Scott Lycett, Cox said he would see the season out and would take some time then to see how his body recovered before making his decision.

"Once I do have some rest and all that, if the body comes back really well, then the decision will be made at the end of the season," Cox said.

"I think I can still offer a little bit around the footy club, that's on the field and also off it."

Cox confirmed he had been happy to rest from West Coast's match against Gold Coast last Saturday after talks with coach Adam Simpson.

His absence from the team that played the Suns broke a 104-game stretch without missing a match dating back to the start of the 2010 season.

"Myself and Simmo spoke on the Monday after the Hawthorn game and decided that my body needed a bit of a break," Cox said on 6PR.

"So the decision was made just to try and freshen up."

Cox, who will turn 33 in August, is West Coast's games record holder on 284 after breaking Glen Jakovich's record of 276 matches against Geelong at Simonds Stadium in round four.

He could follow Fremantle captain Matthew Pavlich past 300 games if he plays on.

But in the wake of Glass' retirement and the strong form of young key-position player Jeremy McGovern, Jakovich is one of several people to query whether Cox was nearing retirement.

The decision on Cox shapes as a difficult one for the Eagles.

Ruck understudies Lycett and Callum Sinclair are out of contract this year and may decide their futures based on the opportunities they anticipate getting with or without Cox on the list.

Conversely, Nic Naitanui's recent injury record would make the Eagles think twice about retiring Cox unless he decided that his time was up.

Lycett had one of his best AFL games in Cox's absence against the Suns, with 16 possessions, a goal and a clutch last-quarter mark.

"I think if we want Coxy to play on we have got to manage him better," Eagles chief executive Trevor Nisbett said.


The West Australian

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