Injury cans star Eagle's return from doping ban

1 month ago 18

West Coast premiership guardant Willie Rioli is apt connected the verge of watching back-to-back seasons walk by without playing an AFL game, aft helium was ruled retired of this Saturday's clash with Brisbane.

The Eagles had locked successful Rioli to look the Lions successful their must-win lucifer astatine The Gabba, but he's since been scratched from the crippled owed to hamstring tightness.

Coach Adam Simpson confirmed that cardinal brace Josh Kennedy [finger] and Jeremy McGovern [hip] would besides miss the game, joining weapon midfielder Tim Kelly [knee] and defender Brad Sheppard [concussion] connected the sideline.

Rioli, who's completed his two-year prohibition for doubly tampering with a urine sample, had been acceptable to play his archetypal AFL crippled since West Coast's 2019 elimination last against Essendon.

The 26-year-old volition present lone person a accidental of making his long-awaited AFL comeback this play if the out-of-form, undermanned Eagles outpouring an upset connected the Lions and different results play retired successful their favour.

If West Coast neglect to bargain a top-eight berth successful the last circular of the regular season, the nine volition measurement up whether Rioli should marque his instrumentality successful the past 2 rounds of the WAFL season.

But irrespective of whether Rioli returns to the tract successful the WAFL this season, Simpson sympathised with him pursuing his hamstring setback.

West Coast's Willie Rioli. (Getty)

"It's disappointing, but helium pulled up a spot choky a mates of days agone and unluckily we can't play him, arsenic overmuch arsenic we each privation to," Simpson told reporters.

"It's been a truly bully process for him and the nine the past 8 weeks. I'm truly arrogant of what he's done and he's got implicit buy-in from our players and staff.

"He's back. His suspension is over, helium conscionable won't beryllium playing this week. He's done everything helium can, helium conscionable couldn't get to the line."

Simpson said interior discussions had been had regarding whether Rioli deserved to regain his spot successful West Coast's 22 during the pointy extremity of the season.

The 2018 West Coast premiership manager said nary 1 had been successful absorption to Rioli returning this week, provided helium was acceptable and among the champion 22 players available.

"We were going to play him," Simpson said.

"Everyone we spoke to was beauteous keen to get him in."

The Eagles' Willie Rioli. (Getty)

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