LeCras boost for Eagles
Mark LeCras at Eagles training. Pic: Michael Wilson/WA News

West Coast's destiny this season is out of their hands, but the return of Mark LeCras for their clash with Melbourne tomorrow signals they will be ready to pounce should other teams fall at the top-eight finish line.

The Eagles' loss to Essendon last week put them one win behind eighth-placed Adelaide with two rounds remaining in the regular season.

In order to claim an unlikely finals berth, the Eagles would need to beat the Demons (home) and Gold Coast (away) in the run home and count on the Crows to lose at least one of their games against North Melbourne and St Kilda.

Richmond and Collingwood would also need to drop at least one of their final two games.

The match between the Crows and the Kangaroos will be completed by the time the ball is bounced at Patersons Stadium tomorrow night, giving the Eagles a better idea of their fate.

The team named to face the Demons signals West Coast have not given up on their September dreams.

All-Australian forward LeCras (calf) was brought straight back into the side after missing the past two weeks, while in-form veteran Sam Butler has been named despite having surgery on a cut eye this week.

Young forward Simon Tunbridge was the only player omitted from the team which fell to the Bombers.

Eagles coach Adam Simpson resisted the temptation to rush back midfield duo Scott Selwood (ankle) and Elliot Yeo (hand), although both remain a chance to play against the Suns next week.

The Demons have made three changes after an embarrassing loss to Greater Western Sydney last week, with Cameron Pederson, Jack Fitzpatrick and Rohan Bail coming into the side.

Co-captain Jack Grimes has been sidelined with a hamstring injury.

Dom Barry and Aidan Riley were dropped.

The key to West Coast's finals hopes could lie in their percentage, which is superior to most other sides still in the race for eighth place and stands at a healthy 111.1.

Tomorrow's game offers an opportunity to further boost that advantage.

In their past three games against Melbourne, the Eagles have kicked scores of 123, 177 and 166 for an average winning margin of 98 points.

Meanwhile, utility player Xavier Ellis will continue his career with West Coast next season.

The Hawthorn premiership player was recruited by the club on only a one-year deal because of his injury history but has played enough games this season to trigger an additional year on his contract.

Ellis, 26, has battled a series of soft-tissue injuries in the past three years but played 17 games for the Eagles before being struck down with a shoulder issue.

Eagles list manager Craig Vozzo told the league's website that given his impact at the club, Ellis would have been offered a new deal regardless of meeting the games criteria.

The West Australian

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