Eagles hope to welcome back key players - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Eagles hope to welcome back key players

22/08/2005 08:17:45 PM Comments (0)

West Coast could regain four front-line players a week out from the AFL finals.

Midfielder Andrew Embley, ruck-forward Michael Gardiner, small forward Phil Matera and defender David Wirrpunda could all return for Saturday's home match against Adelaide.

The game will determine whether the Eagles or Crows finish on top at the end of the minor rounds of the competition.

"We've got four of our best 22 to come into the football side hopefully this week, and so that should be a huge boost," said Eagles midfielder Chad Fletcher.

Gardiner (foot), Embley (foot) and Matera (groin) will all face fitness tests, while Wirrpunda missed Saturday's big loss to Geelong because of a bereavement.

Meanwhile, Brisbane coach Leigh Matthews confirmed star forward Jonathan Brown was finished for the season because of osteitis pubis.

Matthews said Brown would not return even if the Lions qualified for an unlikely finals berth, after he struggled badly in the five-goal loss to Port Adelaide on Saturday night.

"Unfortunately the poor bugger won't play again this year," Matthews said.

"When you talk rest, you probably talk a month before there would be any markable sign of improvement."

Team-mate Justin Leppitsch, who is sidelined with a back injury, was in Melbourne for further medical advice on his problem.

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