Worst case scenario: Dean Cox struggling

It’s the one injury that will destroy just about every fantasy team: the premier ruckman in the game is proppy.

West Coast Eagles Training and Media SessionIt’s only an unsourced rumour at this stage, but word out at Eagles Flying High, the West Coast fan forum, is that Dean Cox is struggling with either gastro or an abdominal strain. Here are the quotes, you can decide for yourself. The first comes from Total Package, an Eagles stalwart of many years standing with quite a reputation as a forum troll, but usually serious when he’s talking about his beloved boys.

I went down to Eagles training tonight and this is what I saw

* Dean Cox walked laps and did not touch a footy. Did no training whatsoever. He is definately has an injury.
* Daniel Kerr trained well and his kicking seemed fine to me.
* Ben McKinley didn’t take part in training and just did laps. He had some shots for goals at the end on his own but that was it.
* LeCras trained well.
* Nic Nat is a freak. His hands are alot better than I thought and marked well. In marking drills with Notte he just jumped over the top and outmarked him. In some short centre bounce drills he was behind Seaby and just jumped a foot above him and won the tap easily.
* Ashley Smith impressed me

Just today, another couple of posts from Eagles fans who I do not know anything about.

Ive heard that Coxxy will behaving a fitness test in the morning – Abdomen injury apparently – If he misses Seaby will replace him.

Ive also heard McKInley is in a bit of doubt aswell due to an injury he picked up last week – Butler to replace him if he misses is the news too.

Really unstable at the moment. Doesn’t bode well for a good result tomorrow.

Cox, McKinley and Wirrapanda all rumoured to be doubtful and 5 changes from last week.

Given all that, I suppose Rosa and Nicoski have kept their places by default. But geez it’s strange that Houlihan continually gets ignored and Schofield appears to be the ‘forgotten Eagle’.

Good luck Swifty.

The gastro rumours seem to have started when Cox was seen “vomiting violently” at quarter time against Collingwood (report), a game in which he collected only 12 possessions, was beaten by Cameron Wood and came under media scrutiny for a weak contest in the defensive goalsquare where he was bundled over easily by John Anthony.

The Anthony contest would be more attributable to an abdominal strain, though it’s anyone’s guess as to what the real truth is. Talkback radio in Perth is notoriously unreliable in reporting facts, with spuds like Karl Langdon, Brad Hardie and Adrian Barich talking a load of old toot, so it wouldn’t surprise me if some of this speculation came through unsupported gossip on the likes of 6PR.

Nevertheless, we will know about this before bouncedown on Friday. But if it’s true, what to do? Having a look at teams in my leagues, most of us have a combination of non-playing rookies and draftees like Jake Spencer, Angus Graham, Andrew L. Browne, Mike Pyke, Daniel Currie, Sam Jacobs and John Meesen. I am lucky enough to have Jesse White in my Super Coach team but for my Dream Team, as I suspect for most of you, I would be staring at a donut if Cox does withdraw (ho ho).

Panic, pray, or pounce with a trade? Eat the donut, I’m afraid. Most of us are burning through trades at a fair rate of knots as it is, we can’t justify spending one on what one would hope would be a one-week proposition. Although, even though Mark Seaby is the likely replacement for Cox this week in the emergencies, talk amongst Eagle fans is that Nicholas Naitanui will be unleashed some time around the split round. Could we see Cox rested to get his abdomen tickety-boo while NicNat and Seaby have a lash in the ones? Watch this space.

UPDATE: The final teamsheets for this evening’s game have been posted, with no changes. Still time enough for a late late change of course, but it appears Cox is going to soldier on through whatever is bothering him. Onya big guy.

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