Brown and Sheppard to return for Eagles
Mitch Brown at Eagles training yesterday. Pic: Dione Davidson/WA News

West Coast's defence is set to be strengthened in time to confront a resurgent Richmond on Friday night, with Mitch Brown and Brad Sheppard both training strongly yesterday.

Brown has not played since sustaining bone damage to his right knee and hurting his right ankle in an awkward landing during the round-15 western derby.

It was initially feared the 25-year-old's season was over, but he was in good spirits at training yesterday, joking with teammate Xavier Ellis and taking part in all skills work and running before the session was closed.

It is understood Brown is confident of being declared fit and only needed to get through the session to be cleared for a recall.

He was listed as a test when the Eagles released their injury list on Monday.

Brown's inclusion would be significant given his capacity to play on both tall and small forwards.

Dustin Martin and Shane Edwards have been dangerous as crumbing goal kickers for the Tigers this season, booting 36 majors between them, while key targets Jack Riewoldt and Ty Vickery are both coming off strong performances.

Sheppard also ran freely yesterday in an indication he had recovered from the ankle complaint that forced him out of the selected side which beat Brisbane last Saturday week.

The Eagles will be boosted by the return of key forward Josh Kennedy from a one-match suspension, while veteran ruckman Dean Cox is expected to play following Monday's retirement announcement.

The West Australian

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