West Coast Eagles bolstered by return of Josh Kennedy and Shannon Hurn, but Jeremy McGovern sidelined

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Bonnie RaynorThe West Australian
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VideoAFL: Geelong obliterated the West Coast Eagles, with the debut of Jeremy Cameron powering the Cats to a 97-point win at GMHBA Stadium.

West Coast are set to be bolstered by the return of three key players for Sunday’s derby, but will be without four-time All Australian defender Jeremy McGovern for ‘a couple of weeks’.

Josh Kennedy (ankle), Shannon Hurn (calf) and Jack Petruccelle (hamstring) are all pushing for selection for western derby 52 after missing last weekend's 97-point belting at the hands of Geelong.

Stand-in captain McGovern joined the long injury list when he sustained a groin injury during the round six clash, but scans have revealed the prognosis is relatively positive.

“He’s likely to miss a couple of weeks. It could have been a worse scenario, so we’ll take a couple of weeks at this stage and go from there,” Eagles football GM Craig Vozzo said.

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Kennedy failed to board the charter flight to Geelong after being tripped by Collingwood’s Mark Keane in round five, which resulted in the defender receiving a one-match ban.

However Kennedy, 33, has used the extra week to push for full fitness ahead of the cross-town rivalry clash.

“Josh pulled up sore with that ankle, but the week off has been terrific for him,” Vozzo said.

“He did a bit of training yesterday and (we’re) expecting him to main train and be available for selection if he gets through, which we expect him to.”

Josh J. Kennedy and Shannon Hurn.
Camera IconJosh J. Kennedy and Shannon Hurn. Credit: Daniel Carson/AFL Photos

A derby return will see premiership captain Hurn break Dean Cox’s all-time games record for the club, with the match to be Hurn’s 291st appearance in blue and gold.

“Shannon and Jack Petruccelle have both undertaken a similar rehab regime for the calf and hamstring, respectively,” Vozzo said.

“They both signed off their relevant medical testing and strength and conditioning testing last weekend.

“All being well they’ll get through training this week and be available for selection.”

Small forward Jamie Cripps is also expected to play after copping a few heavy hits to the ribs and head against the Cats.

“I’ll be playing, I got a couple of knocks throughout the game but I’ve pulled up well and I’ll be right to go,” Cripps told Triple M.

“It was very disappointing on the weekend, our content wasn’t great (so) we’ll be aiming to go hard at the contest.

“Hopefully we can come away with the win and get back to how we usually play.

“We’ve had a few good meetings this week to try work out the problem so we should be right.”

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