West Coast coach Adam Simpson is confident Oscar Allen's long-term future isn't in doubt despite the emerging star being ruled out for the rest of the AFL season with a worrying foot injury.
Allen and Luke Edwards (osteitis pubis) will be placed on West Coast's inactive list, freeing up two spots for the club ahead of the mid-season draft.
West Coast have been battered by a series of long-term injuries this year, with Allen's stress-related foot injury one of the biggest blows.
The 23-year-old succumbed to the injury during the pre-season and a number of stints in a moon boot haven't been able to fix the issue.
"We were holding out a bit of hope for both of them (Allen and Edwards), but it's just a slow process with their injuries and it's got to the point now where their recovery marries up towards the end of the season," Simpson said.
"It probably makes sense to shut them down and get them right, with no guarantees they were going to get back anyway.
"Both those guys if they got themselves perfectly right we were talking round 21, round 22 at best.
"We've taken a cautious approach with those two, but that's not a green light for us to shut everyone down in round 10. We're not doing that."
Foot stress fractures have become one of the most serious injuries in the AFL given the delicate nature of the foot bones and the unpredictable healing time.
But Simpson is confident Allen's injury won't drag on long term.
"I don't think long term we're in any dangerous territory, but bone stress in your foot is always unforgiving if you don't get it right," Simpson said.
"It's just slow. He's just got out of the (moon) boot. He probably needs another three or four weeks non running, then all of a sudden it's round 13, 14 before we start the pre-season for him.
"There's no real time frame when you get to those type of injuries, you just have to let the body take care of it, and it's just been slow.
"I think we'll put it down to bad luck at the moment, but we are investigating all those things with the surface, and his boots and orthotics."
Sam Petrevski-Seton became the latest Eagle to enter the health and safety protocols this week.
But West Coast received a dose of much-needed good news when Jamie Cripps' leg infection cleared up much faster than expected.
Cripps was initially ruled out of Sunday's clash with GWS at Giants Stadium, but he will now take Petrevski-Seton's spot in the 22.
Australian Associated Press
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