Mark LeCras is ready to suit up for the Eagles in the 2013 NAB Cup
WEST Coast forward Mark LeCras will play at least one of Saturday night's NAB Cup matches against Fremantle and Geelong at Patersons Stadium in his anticipated return from a knee reconstruction.
The star goalkicker, who ruptured the anterior cruciate ligament in his right knee 12 months ago, could even be used in both shortened clashes, according to coach John Worsfold.
LeCras pushed for a shock return during the finals last year but the Eagles remained cautious with the All Australian and he has since completed a carefully mapped out pre-season.
Worsfold said the 26-year-old had taken part in all of the Eagles' intraclub sessions in recent weeks and he was ready to resume in a powerful West Coast forward line.
"'Lecca' will play in at least one of the games, maybe both," Worsfold said on Monday.
"He's been doing all our match simulation and game plan drills for a month now … we've had our equivalent of intraclub games and he's played in those.
"He wasn't doing every drill that the players were doing really up until January, so he still followed a fairly strict program in terms of building him up to be ready to play now."
LeCras completed an outstanding pre-season leading into 2012 and appeared destined to push into the Eagles' midfield before injuring his right knee during training.
Worsfold said the 2010 club champion could still play in the midfield this season.
"Absolutely it is [an option]," Worsfold said.
"Our initial [approach] will be just get him playing footy where he knows the game the best, in the forward line, and we'll assess the rest of it as we go along."
West Coast will field two even sides on Saturday night, using around 30 players across the two shortened matches.
Worsfold ruled out forward Mark Nicoski, who missed the entire 2012 season with a serious hamstring injury, as well as Beau Waters (hip) and Daniel Kerr (knee), who underwent off-season surgery.
Brad Dick (knee), Jamie Bennell (knee) and Brant Colledge (hip) will also be unavailable.
Worsfold said he couldn't nominate a star performer this pre-season, but there had been strong efforts from young and senior players.
"Seeing some of the younger guys taking the next step up and really matching it with some of the older guys has been great to see," he said.
"You can go up to some of the really senior guys like (Andrew) Embley, (Darren) Glass, Adam Selwood, they all ran their best ever times for 2km.
"Scott Lycett, the way he presented after his off-season was outstanding."
Worsfold was also questioned on Monday about the current investigation into performance enhancing drugs in Australian sport.
He said he had not been notified about the club being under ACC investigation and said, "My assumption is that we won't be hearing anything".
"Our guys know very clearly the values this club works to," Worsfold said.
"To me everything is just still grey, the extent of all of this.
"I'm not getting too caught up in at all. I'm quite comfortable to sit back and wait and see which actions unfold out of it all."
Mark LeCras is a $355,400 forward in NAB AFL Fantasy. Register your team at our AFL Fantasy Hub.
Nathan Schmook is a reporter for AFL Media. Follow him on Twitter: @AFL_Nathan