AAP AFL

Eagles face nervous wait on AFL stars

By AAP Newswire

West Coast are facing a nervous wait to see whether captain Shannon Hurn and All-Australian defender Jeremy McGovern will be cleared to play in Saturday's AFL clash with North Melbourne in Perth.

Hurn was a late withdrawal from Sunday's 13-point win over Melbourne in Alice Springs after injuring his calf at training.

McGovern rolled his left ankle late in the game and will undergo scans to determine the extent of the damage.

The duo loom as keys against North Melbourne, who boast 200cm Ben Brown, 198cm Nick Larkey and 192cm Mason Wood in attack.

Given there is only a six-day break between games, Hurn and McGovern don't have much time to prove their fitness.

But the Eagles received a dose of good news on Monday when defender Tom Barrass escaped suspension over his third-quarter bump that concussed Demons co-captain Jack Viney.

Francis Watson was solid in his debut after earning a late call-up to replace Hurn, while premiership defender Will Schofield is waiting in the wings for a recall if McGovern is ruled out.

Utility Oscar Allen, who has been used in attack and as a pinch-hitting ruckman for most of this season, can also play in defence.

North Melbourne defender Scott Thompson is in doubt for the clash after rupturing a testicle in last week's loss to Brisbane.

Thompson underwent a minor procedure to reduce the swelling and repair the testicle.

Third-placed West Coast moved a game clear of fourth-placed Collingwood with the win over Melbourne.

The Eagles are just 1.4 percentage points adrift of second-placed Brisbane and are well placed to make a charge for a top-two berth.

West Coast face North Melbourne (home), Carlton (away), Adelaide (home), Richmond (away) and Hawthorn (home) in the run home.

Out of those teams only Richmond (fifth) and Adelaide (eighth) currently sit in the top eight.

Saturday's clash with the Kangaroos looms as a potential banana skin for the Eagles.

North Melbourne have been rejuvenated since Rhyce Shaw took over as caretaker coach, winning five of their past eight games.

The Kangaroos had a good chance to beat Brisbane at the Gabba last week, but a bad umpiring decision in the dying minutes turned the match the Lions' way.