West Coast will be ready for their high-stakes clash with Essendon at Etihad Stadium on Saturday, despite having to contend with a six-day break, according to defender Shannon Hurn.

The Eagles are in hot form, surging back into finals contention with wins over rival top-eight hopefuls Adelaide and Coll- ingwood in the past fortnight.

But the eighth-placed Bombers will be smarting after losing to Richmond and will welcome back inspirational skipper Jobe Watson (hip) after two months and defender Michael Hibberd from a hamstring injury.

Also, Essendon have an eight-day break.

The Bombers have won three of their past five games against the Eagles and enjoyed a narrow win in Perth last year before West Coast turned the tables in round 20 with a 53-point thrashing at Etihad Stadium.

Veteran defender Xavier Ellis is likely to miss the rest of the season after injuring his right AC joint in the Eagles' 60-point demolition of the Magpies, while star forward Mark LeCras (calf) remains in doubt after being a late withdrawal on Sunday.

Ellis wore a sling at the club's recovery session at City Beach yesterday and LeCras, who tormented the Bombers in 2010 with a 12-goal haul, did not appear.

Hurn said the reason for the Eagles' stark turnaround in form was the "million-dollar question", but had no doubt they could maintain the rage.

"I certainly believe we can," he said. "I think that the way we've been training, the way that we've been playing is really good.

"But you see the really good sides, they do it all the time, when they're under pressure and when things aren't going for them, so that's something we're working towards."

Hurn said handling travel and a short break was just a matter of doing the little things right.

The Eagles are 2-2 off six-day turnarounds this season.

"Most players have pulled up pretty well," Hurn said. "It's about doing your recovery well, with hydration, jumping in the pool, getting your massages. That's not so much a secret, that's just doing the basics really well."

Hurn will play his 150th game on Saturday and said he had never considered a return home to South Australia.

In an indication of his standing at the club, Hurn is one of the captaincy contenders for next season. "It would be something great to do because it's such a great club," he said.

"But we've got five or six other players that could do it as well."

"That's not so much a secret, that's just doing the basics really well."" *Shannon Hurn *on the Eagles' recovery period

The West Australian

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