The West

Claremont are facing an anxious wait over the fitness of captain Jake Murphy after he injured a knee in Saturday's 80-point loss to Subiaco.

Murphy, 24, did not return to the field after quarter time at East Fremantle Oval.

He appeared to be walking without pain in the rooms, but Tigers officials said the injury would be monitored.

The reigning best-and-fairest winner, who was third in last season's Sandover Medal count, had gathered just three disposals against a savage Lions midfield before getting injured.

His availability will be vital to the club's hopes against East Fremantle at East Fremantle Oval this weekend.

Saturday's 18.22 (130) to 6.14 (50) result continued Subiaco's flying start to their second season under coach Jarrad Schofield.

The Lions sit on top of the ladder ahead of this week's game against Peel Thunder.

Driven by an enormous 28-disposal, four-goal game from George Hampson, the Lions were simply too good for the Tigers, establishing a four-goal lead at quarter time and not relenting.

They will be strengthened this week by the return of captain Kyal Horsley.

Returning to the club after a stint with Gold Coast, Horsley gathered 22 disposals in three quarters in the reserves.

Schofield said the 26-year-old had pulled up well and was likely to play league this week.

"We played with the idea of putting him straight back into the ones, but when you've won the previous week and the boys had all performed well, we had that luxury of playing him in the twos," Schofield said.

"He's our leader, it's not so much just his output in terms of what he'll do with the footy and on the ground, but it's just his leadership and what he'll bring to the playing group and the demands that he'll put on his players and his teammates, because he demands so much of himself."

But for a small fight-back in the third quarter, Claremont, playing their first home game of the year at East Fremantle Oval because of their ground renovation, were simply outclassed.

Hampson' first-half display was undoubtedly the highlight, but the Lions were also well served by Chris Phelan, who gathered 30 disposals in the midfield, and the Deluca brothers, Chris and Josh.

The Delucas kicked five goals between them and had several other opportunities, but it was their forward pressure which pleased the Lions' coaching staff.

"He's our leader … it's just his leadership and what he'll bring to the playing group …""Subiaco coach *Jarrad Schofield *on Kyal Horsley's imminent return

The West Australian

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