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Winged Eagles push on for finals fling
Winged Eagles push on for finals fling

West Coast coach John Worsfold says Mark Nicoski's season-ending hamstring injury will not stop Mark LeCras, Andrew Embley or Josh Kennedy from attempting to return this season.

But Worsfold said the coaches were preparing for life without the injured stars.

Nicoski was ruled out for the season after having pain in his ham-string while running on Monday. He hadn't played since injuring the hamstring tendon in the NAB Cup grand final but was on track to return in August.

He had spent Monday training with LeCras, Embley and Kennedy.

The trio returned to Patersons Stadium yesterday to continue their rehabilitation.

Worsfold said Nicoski's setback wouldn't prompt any reassessment of their training programs.

"The reason they're the athletes they are is (because) mentally they are strong," Worsfold said.

"Unfortunately for Nico, they won't care. They'll feel for him but it won't affect their attitude to what they want to achieve.

"It doesn't take our focus away from the job that we're here to do.

"Part of our job is to not be affected by those things.

"It's an unfortunate part of being an elite sportsperson. You push your bodies right to the limit."

Nicoski played in the losing 2005 grand final, but missed the 2006 premiership with an ankle injury.

He played in a WAFL premiership that season, but wasn't chosen for the AFL grand final the following week.

He is one of only five Eagles still on the list who missed the 2006 flag.

The others are Shannon Hurn, Matt Rosa, Matt Priddis and LeCras.

Worsfold said talk of Nicoski missing another flag was premature.

Nicoski has had several serious injuries in his 112-game career, but Worsfold said he should also be happy that he had experienced so many highs.

The Eagles play North Melbourne in Tasmania on Saturday and could be strengthened by the return of Will Schofield (ham- string) and Adam Selwood (infection). But Worsfold said with Sam Butler and Ash Smith both returning from injury through the WAFL and performing well, there was no guarantee they'd come straight back into the team.

"Unfortunately for Nico, they won't care. They'll feel for him but it won't affect their attitude."" *John Worsfold *