Forward Mark LeCras has called for caution over West Coast's renewed finals hopes as the club prepares for life without two of its best young midfielders.
The Eagles confirmed a worse-than-expected outlook yesterday on Elliot Yeo. The emerging on-baller will miss up to seven weeks after needing surgery on a hand broken during Saturday's dramatic three-point win over Gold Coast at Patersons Stadium.
And the club could yet lose Scott Selwood for the rest of 2014 despite saying it would explore "every available medical option" to avoid sending the joint vice-captain for a season-ending operation on his right ankle.
Selwood has had weekly pain-killing injections to get through matches since hurting the ankle against St Kilda in round three.
It is believed the 24-year-old has ligament damage, although it was not clear last night whether it was as serious as that of Fremantle forward Michael Walters.
"I've lost a lot of strength and agility from it and feel very slow out on the footy field and my GPS results and things like that say I'm not running very quick at the moment either," Selwood told Channel 10 last night.
"It's quite hard when you're trying to play on blokes like Brent Harvey and I was hoping I was going to have Gary Ablett on the weekend, but you look at it and go 'I'm not sure how I'm going to do this one'. It was getting tougher and tougher."
Selwood's absence comes with the 11th-placed Eagles well positioned to post consecutive wins.
They face bottom side St Kilda at Etihad Stadium on Sunday ahead of a western derby the next week that will end or resurrect their finals hopes.
LeCras denied their fifth win of the season meant the players were eyeing finals, saying their focus was solely on the Saints, whose average losing margin this year has been 65 points.
"I don't think we've turned a corner or anything," he said.
"We've been working on the basics at training … it's midway through the season and it's hard to see where we're going to be at.
"It was good to get a win on the weekend. It felt great, so our main focus will be trying to get a few more of them."
LeCras predicted his role as a pinch-hitting midfielder would not change to a more permanent on-ball role and he expected fringe players Simon Tunbridge and Dom Sheed to be called upon.
Luke Shuey (ankle) is expected to return against the Saints. Sam Butler (finger) faces a fitness test.
"I don't think we've turned a corner or anything ... it's hard to see where we're going to be at."" *Mark LeCras *