WEST Coast forward Liam Ryan could be sidelined for the start of the season after scans revealed a high-grade hamstring injury and tendon damage.
The 27-year-old sustained the injury to his right leg at training on Monday and will now undergo surgery to repair the damage.
Ryan played just three games in 2023 after needing surgery on his opposite hamstring following an awkward landing in round three against Fremantle.
"We are all really disappointed for Liam. He had been working hard this pre-season and over the Christmas break to be ready to go when we start playing practice matches," footy manager Gavin Bell said.
"We're hopeful he will be available to return in the early rounds of the season. The club will provide an update on his return to play timeframe in due course following surgery."
Meanwhile, young defender Coby Burgiel sustained a minor hamstring strain during training on Monday and will go into rehabilitation before resuming training with the main group.
The Eagles are coming off two seasons ruined by injuries, winning just five games since the start of 2022.
It led to an off-field shake-up, with Mathew Inness their new high performance manager and Paul Turk arriving from Collingwood.
West Coast also landed No.1 draft pick Harley Reid, who is tipped to have an immediate impact.
Coach Adam Simpson suggested Reid would start his AFL career playing in defence and in the middle.
"I think there'll be a little bit of back, a little bit of onball as well from what I'm seeing at the moment, but he goes forward and has a bit of presence there as well," he said.
"We need to settle him, that's for sure, but more than likely to be down back and a little bit of onball at the moment."
The Eagles begin their 2024 season against Port Adelaide on March 17.