AAP AFL

Eagle McGovern to miss Geelong AFL clash

By AAP Newswire

Star West Coast defender Jeremy McGovern will miss at least another week, while midfielder Jack Redden has also been ruled out of the Eagles' clash with Geelong at Optus Stadium.

McGovern was a late withdrawal from last week's win over Collingwood after breaking his right thumb against Fremantle and coach Adam Simpson said the four-time All-Australian wasn't ready to return.

"The thumb is just giving him a bit of grief at the moment," Simpson said.

"It hasn't got worse, it's got better, but just not to the point where he can play.

"We tested it out today, and we'll err on the side of caution with that one.

"We'll have to wait and see (whether he can play next week).

"We'll give it as much time as it needs to. He hasn't had a setback, it's just in a difficult spot. It's just going to take a little bit of time."

Redden pulled up sore in his quad after the win over Collingwood and has been put on ice for this week, while Josh Rotham has been omitted.

Brendon Ah Chee returns and Simpson confirmed 19-year-old rookie defender Harry Edwards would make his debut.

"These tall defenders take a little bit of time to develop. He's pretty raw," Simpson said.

"I reckon he might have grown around 20cm in the last two years. He came to the club as a utility, and he's about 200cm tall now."

West Coast shot into premiership favouritism following their 66-point demolition of Collingwood.

But Simpson was doing his best to take the underdog tag against the fourth-placed Cats, who are above the Eagles only on percentage.

West Coast, who lost to Geelong by 20 points in last year's semi-final, enter Saturday's match as hot favourites.

"We've been building for a few weeks, and I think we're now in a position where hopefully we've got a brand that can compete against anyone in the competition," Simpson said.

"But Geelong are above us on the ladder, they're the form team really when you look at it. Their numbers stack right up across the board.

"We've had a good week, they've had a good season, so we know where we sit."

The Cats will be without skipper Joel Selwood (hamstring) for another week, while they are still without a recognised ruckman, meaning Eagles big man Nic Naitanui has the perfect chance to continue his stunning form.

Saturday's match will also see Eagles midfielder Tim Kelly come up against his former side for the first time.

Kelly played his best game for the Eagles last week when he tallied 29 disposals, six clearances and a goal.