West Coast forward Mark Nicoski’s 2012 season is over.
The Eagles last night revealed that a slight setback at training was likely to delay Nicoski’s return from a serious hamstring injury for up three weeks, making a return to action for this year’s finals impossible.
Nicoski announced the setback and its consequences on Twitter: “Suffered a mild setback to my hamstring at training on Monday. In the best interests of my hammy and its ability to heal properly the club and I have chosen to avoid forcing a return this season,” Nicoski tweeted.
“It gives me the opportunity to rest it adequately and ensure 2013 is a successful one for myself and WCE.”
A club spokesman said: “It is not a major thing but because it was such a fine line anyway, that extra two to three-week delay is enough to wrap it up now.”
Key forward Josh Kennedy (ankle) remains hopeful he will be back in action just prior to the finals. The club is yet to rule Mark LeCras out after a knee reconstruction but he remains highly unlikely to play again this season.
The Eagles face a rejuvenated North Melbourne on Saturday, with the Kangaroos declaring they are ready and raring to rip into West Coast’s defensive press at a North Hobart ground they hope the visitors will find foreign.
It will be the first time the two clubs have met away from Patersons Stadium since early 2010 and Kangaroos assistant coach Darren Crocker was eyeing a significant advantage at Blundstone Arena.
In the Roos’ only game at their new second home they belted Greater Western Sydney in round two by 129 points.
The Kangaroos have lost by just 25 and four points respectively in their past two matches against West Coast at Patersons Stadium and are confident they have the game to cause an upset.
Crocker said the team’s growing confidence in its game plan and slick ball movement would prove vital in trying to kick a winning score against West Coast’s stifling defensive tactics.
“In some way, we’re trying to create a little bit of a fortress for ourselves down there against an interstate team,” Crocker said.
“It’s not a big ground and if they get their defensive shape in place they are going to be hard to score against.
“But if we can play like we have in the past couple of weeks, we can challenge them in a few areas inregards to that shape.
“Our ball movement has been really pleasing in the last two weeks in particular.”