West Coast coach Adam Simpson has been dealt a disappointing blow after scans confirmed key defender Mitch Brown will miss the rest of the AFL through injury.
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Brown ruptured his anterior cruciate ligament as he turned for the ball during the Eagles’ 10-point loss to the Western Bulldogs on Saturday.
It means West Coast’s defensive stocks have taken yet another major blow, with fellow key backman Eric Mackenzie also out for the year after suffering the same injury during the NAB Challenge last month.
It’s the second time Brown has suffered an ACL injury, and it’s undecided whether the 26-year-old will opt for the LARS treatment or receive a traditional knee reconstruction.
Eagles vice-captain Josh Kennedy informed media of Brown’s injury, saying the defender remained in “high spirits”.
“It’s a confirmed ACL which is disappointing for us and for Mitch,” Kennedy is quoted as saying by the West Coast Eagles website.
“I think the scans came back last night and confirmed it.
“He’s done it before and now he’s going down that same path again.
“It’s sad, it’s football, it’s a part of it.
“Brownie’s been through it before and… on the way back [from Melbourne] he was high-spirited about it all.”
Jeremy McGovern and Will Schofield are now expected to play key roles in defence, beginning with the Eagles’ clash with Carlton on Friday.
Both sides will be desperate for a win following opening round losses, with the Blues going down to Richmond by 27 points.