Shuey in doubt for MCG trip
Shuey in doubt for MCG trip

Luke Shuey is racing the clock to be fit for Sunday's match against Melbourne at the MCG because of calf soreness.

The 23-year-old limped noticeably as he slowly walked two laps at Patersons Stadium yesterday.

He then spoke briefly to a trainer before leaving the track after about 20 minutes.

The fact Shuey looked far from comfortable 48 hours after being substituted at three-quarter time against the Western Bulldogs, having kicked two goals from 14 disposals, is a concern for the Eagles.

He will have to pass a fitness test tomorrow to be guaranteed selection.

West Coast are likely to take a conservative approach to Shuey's fitness, given his struggles last season and the inexperience of their opposition this weekend.

He was restricted to 14 matches last year as he battled a persistent hamstring problem.

Coach Adam Simpson said Shuey had been sore during the build-up to Sunday's 65-point win.

"We asked our physios and fitness department before the game who we would rather (substitute out) and they said Luke, so when the opportunity came up we took it," Simpson said.

"He was a bit sore during the week. He was just a bit off and he missed a couple of training sessions."

Simpson has plenty of other options at his disposal if Shuey doesn't come up.

Mark Hutchings completed yesterday's one-hour session and moved without discomfort. It is understood he was in line to play round one before injuring his back at training a fortnight ago.

Brad Sheppard, an emergency against the Bulldogs, also pressed his selection case in racking up 28 disposals for East Perth last Saturday, while Josh Hill is waiting in the wings.

Teenage midfielder Dom Sheed replaced Shuey in the final term against the Bulldogs on debut and the Eagles have the option of promoting him for a full game or dropping him back to the Royals for an extended hit-out.

Patrick McGinnity has served a one-game suspension, but is expected to start back with East Perth.

Dean Cox, Nic Naitanui and Josh Kennedy were all absent from training, but aren't believed to be in any doubt to face the Demons.

Western Bulldogs veteran Robert Murphy believed Patersons Stadium would again be an intimidating venue for interstate teams playing the Eagles.

"It was back to the days of their glory days in the mid-2000s," he told Fox Footy's AFL 360 last night.

"I described it last week as hostile and I was bang-on about that.

"I think the fact they've got all their personnel on the ground helps them, but their intensity around the footy - they've got weapons all over the place. Their pressure, their run.

"In that first half, particularly the first quarter, the time we had to get rid of the ball (was short).

"That's why stats are so misleading.

"We probably had a lot of possessions but they were all you know 'geez I don't want it, I'll give it to you, I don't want it either'.

"You flick it around and then someone dumps it down, they get it and they only need three kicks and they all go to each other."

The West Australian

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