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Eagles put an 'X' next to Ellis for round one

Xavier Ellis of the Eagles reacts to a hamstring strain during the 2015 NAB Challenge Week 2 match between Port Adelaide Power and the West Coast Eagles at Norwood Oval, Adelaide on March 08, 2015. (Photo: AFL Media)
The Eagles aren't prepared to risk Xavier Ellis for their round one clash with the Western Bulldogs
He will join main training next week and hopefully be available going into round two
Eagles physiotherapist Paul Tucker on Xavier Ellis

XAVIER Ellis has been ruled out of West Coast's round one clash with the Western Bulldogs, but Mitch Brown and Will Schofield should be available if they get through training this week. 

Both Ellis and Brown injured hamstrings against Port Adelaide in the NAB Challenge clash on March 8.

Brown completed his rehab program last week and should be ready to go, but West Coast physiotherapist Paul Tucker told the Eagles’ website on Tuesday that the club was being more cautious with Ellis. 

"He (Ellis) has been in rehab for the last few weeks like Browny, but we're probably taking a slightly more conservative approach with Xavier," Tucker said.

"He will join main training next week and hopefully be available going into round two."

Ellis completed some running during the Eagles' light skills session at Domain Stadium on Monday afternoon and appeared to be moving reasonably well.   

Will Schofield injured his ankle earlier in the pre-season and missed all three NAB Challenge matches. But he has re-joined main training this week and is expected to be available for selection to face the Bulldogs at Etihad Stadium on Saturday night.

There was also some positive news on Mark Hutchings and Jack Darling. Both have been in long-term rehab over the summer.

Hutchings has returned to full training following ongoing problems with his groin.

Darling is still on track for a possible return to the senior side in round five or six. Tucker said the forward was still a couple of weeks away from joining main training as he continued his slow recovery from a foot stress fracture.

But Darling was out on Domain Stadium on Monday. He worked away from the main group doing some low intensity leading, marking and kicking. 

West Coast coach Adam Simpson told AFL.com.au last week that the Eagles could have up-to three debutants in the first month with Tom Lamb, Jackson Nelson and Liam Duggan all in contention to play as early as this week.

Lamb and Nelson played every pre-season game for West Coast.

Duggan has played the first two matches of the WAFL season for East Perth and has been very impressive. The first-round draft pick gathered 22 disposals and kicked two goals for the Royals last Saturday.