THE West Coast Eagles’ ruck stocks have been dealt another long-term blow, with veteran Drew Petrie ruled out for up to 10 weeks with a broken hand.
The 34-year-old will consult a surgeon on Tuesday after sustaining the injury in the opening minutes of his club debut against his former side North Melbourne.
Speaking in his regular segment on Channel Seven news on Monday night, West Coast coach Adam Simpson said the prognosis wasn’t promising.
“I haven’t quite got the full results back yet, but at the early stages (it looks like he’ll be out for) six to 10 weeks,” said Simpson.
The loss of Petrie has reduced the Eagles to two fit ruckmen, with superstar Nic Naitanui (ACL) to miss a large portion if not all of the season and Scott Lycett at least two months away from returning from a dislocated shoulder.
West Coast pulled Jonathan Giles from East Perth’s clash against West Perth on Sunday, and Simpson confirmed that journeyman would share the rucking duties with Nathan Vardy in Saturday night’s match against St Kilda at Domain Stadium.
Defender Sharrod Wellingham said Giles was more than capable of filling the void.
“His pre-season was awesome,” Wellingham said.
“He had one minor hiccup with the hand injury, but other than that he was still able to do all his running and things like that, so he’s in really good nick.”
“He was a really dominant ruckmen in our intra-club matches, and if he continues that vein of form he will be really handy for us.”
Giles has a history of stepping up when needed, having produced arguably the best performance of his career in the upset win over the Adelaide Crows in round 23, the 29-year-old tallying 15 possessions and 29 hit-outs to go with one goal as the Eagles got up by 29 points to secure a home final.