LeCras adds cherry to Eagles' pie - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

LeCras adds cherry to Eagles' pie

Justin Chadwick 27/04/2011 07:26:34 PM Comments (0)

West Coast coach John Worsfold is considering giving Mark LeCras an immediate return to the midfield, declaring the All-Australian "cherry ripe" for Thursday night's AFL clash with Melbourne at Patersons Stadium.

LeCras was initially expected to miss up to 10 weeks after tearing his groin in the Eagles' round one win over North Melbourne in Perth.

But the 24-year-old surprised everyone when he was back up and running within a week and will cap a remarkable recovery when he makes his return against the Demons.

LeCras, who booted 63 goals from 21 games last year to earn his first All-Australian guernsey, has also been used in spurts through the midfield in recent years.

Worsfold said LeCras' recent injury wouldn't deter him from alternating the 183cm goalsneak through the forward line and midfield against the Demons, with a view to perhaps handing him a larger midfield role in the future.

"He'll work hard as a forward or in the midfield, that won't really matter (where he plays)," Worsfold said on Wednesday.

"It's going to be more about managing his ground time and working out exactly how much work he's doing in either role.

"So he might come off more often but still be able to play both roles.

"I think LeCras, (Daniel) Kerr, (Matt) Priddis, (Luke) Shuey - some of those names in the midfield together starts to address some of the issues we think we've had over the time.

"Plus the more improvement we're going to get out of (Chris) Masten when he's back and Scott Selwood and some of those players as well (will help).

"So having LeCras as a player that will go through the midfield more will assist us as a team.

"It's a handy dilemma for us to have as we progress throughout the season."

Worsfold said LeCras had done everything asked of him to prove his fitness.

"He's absolutely cherry ripe for Melbourne," Worsfold said.

"As soon as he could start running, he was running no worries.

"Obviously they (the medical staff) then add in tackling and kicking on the run, kicking around the corner.

"And the last one he had to tick off was be able to do a full training session and tackling with the intensity of the match practice type stuff and he did that late last week and on the weekend, so we were very pleased with it all."

The Eagles included LeCras, Ash Smith and Patrick McGinnity to the team that narrowly lost to Hawthorn before last week's bye.

Defender Mitch Brown (thumb) was forced out, while Will Schofield and Bradd Dalziell were dropped.

Melbourne, who have lost their past 10 encounters in Perth, named an unchanged squad to the one that thumped Gold Coast by 90 points in Brisbane two weeks ago.

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