Ellis closes in on Eagles return
Ellis closes in on Eagles return

High-profile recruit Xavier Ellis is set to return against Greater Western Sydney at Patersons Stadium on Sunday in a much-needed boost to West Coast.

The former Hawk has not played since being substituted out in the first quarter of the round-four loss to Port Adelaide on April 19.

The Eagles have been particularly cautious with Ellis given his history of soft-tissue injuries in eight seasons.

However, the 26-year-old trained strongly during yesterday's open session and coach Adam Simpson has declared him available to tackle the Giants.

Ellis moved freely and ran at full pace during drills to show he had fully recovered.

His inclusion would strengthen the quality of ball delivery coming off half-back and into West Coast's forward line.

The 91-game player is running at a disposal efficiency rate of 87 per cent for 2014 - well above the team's 70.8 per cent average - and has been among the Eagles' top five in all five of his matches when it comes to hitting targets.

West Coast have increasingly battled to pinpoint teammates by foot, particularly going inside the attacking 50m across a four-game losing streak.

Mark LeCras, who is aiming to return from a broken arm after missing a month on the sidelines, also completed the hour-long session.

The club's two-times leading goal kicker was still wearing a compression bandage on the lower part of his right arm, but spent 10 minutes pushing off from assistant coach Justin Longmuir and simulating leads from inside the forward 50m.

He remains a selection risk, with the club initially flagging the 2010 All-Australian would be given until after its first bye of the season.

Under-fire ruckman Nic Naitanui took no part in yesterday's session, while Jamie Cripps was restricted to jogging laps after being crunched in a pack during the third quarter of Sunday's western derby.

Luke Shuey (foot) did not train.

Extra time was spent on goal kicking as West Coast seek to fix their radar after booting a combined 30.51 over their past four games.

Players formed a guard to replicate game pressure as teammates kicked from 35m out, with Sharrod Wellingham, who is expected to be recalled against the Giants, among players to nail their set shots.

GWS will travel to Perth without star forward Jeremy Cameron, who has been temporarily banned from flying after having surgery last week to implant an artificial eardrum.

West Coast were as short as $1.05 with the TAB yesterday on the back of Cameron's omission.

The West Australian

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