Cox stays sidelined but Shuey returns
Dean Cox. Pic: WA News

UPDATED: West Coast will not subject veteran ruckman Dean Cox to the six-day break between Sunday's clash with St Kilda and a round-15 western derby against Fremantle after deciding to rest the six-times All-Australian for a second successive week.

Cox was last night left out of the team to face the Saints at Etihad Stadium.

The Eagles selectors made just one change to the team that beat Gold Coast by three points at Patersons Stadium last Saturday.

Luke Shuey is in the team to replace Elliot Yeo, who broke his left hand against the Suns.

Shuey was a late withdrawal from the Suns match after rolling an ankle at West Coast's final training session.

Josh Hill, Patrick McGinnity and Jacob Brennan were the emergencies. Sam Butler was also included, despite injuring a finger against the Suns.

The Saints included veteran defender James Gwilt, elevated rookie James Minchington, former Hawthorn player Shane Savage and forward Terry Milera.

WA's Clint Jones, Josh Bruce and Josh Saunders were dropped while Luke Dunstan (shoulder) could not be considered.

Leaving Cox out of the squad will spark more speculation about the champion ruckman's future, but the short break between Sunday's game and next weekend's derby is the logical reason for offering the veteran an extended break.

Cox, who turns 33 in August, has played his best football fresh this season but has struggled to come up off long trips and short breaks.

He had 23 disposals and 26 hit-outs in round one against the Western Bulldogs and a solid 17 touches, two goals and 23 hit-outs in round 10 against Collingwood coming off the mid-season break.

But he struggled off the six-day space between round 11 against North Melbourne and round 12 against Hawthorn in Launceston, having just 11 possessions in both games.

Cox admitted this week that he and coach Adam Simpson agreed he needed to rest following the long trip to Launceston.

"Myself and Simmo spoke on the Monday after the Hawthorn game and decided that my body needed a little bit of a break," he said. "So the decision was made just to really try and freshen up."

The West Australian

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