WEST Coast coach Adam Simpson insists ruckman Dean Cox will be primed to take on Fremantle next week after opting to rest the veteran for Sunday's clash against St Kilda.
The six-time All Australian will sit out for a second week after playing 104 consecutive matches prior to last week's narrow in over Gold Coast.
Doubts have swirled around Cox's future this week but Simpson said there was nothing sinister in the decision not to fly Cox to Melbourne to take on the Saints.
"We'll give him another week just to get the body right," Simpson said.
"He's training really well. He'll play next week.
"It's a six-day break after the St Kilda game so we thought we'd get him right for Fremantle.
"He's 32. We're just managing him.
"He could have played this week. We think we got a good performance from Nic Naitanui and Scott Lycett (last week) so we're managing those three players at the moment."
The Eagles face a delicate balancing act as far as their ruck stocks are concerned.
Lycett and Callum Sinclair have been dominating in the WAFL but both have been starved of opportunity at senior level.
Both are out of contract at the end of the season and will likely attract suitors from elsewhere.
The Eagles experimented with three ruckmen earlier in the year but abandoned that policy after the round seven loss to Fremantle.
"We want give opportunity to all four," Simpson said.
"The balancing act is quite difficult. We don't think we're losing too much with any of those players, so that's a really good problem to have. But it's giving them opportunity and also respecting Dean with where he's at as well.
"You've got to earn your spot and bide your time. It's just about development and also getting the best team out there as well. It feels like we're pretty evenly matched with all four, albeit Nic is probably our number one."
Cox and Simpson have both stated this week that a decision on the veteran's future will not be made until the end of the season.
"Not at all. No, no, he's obviously a legend of the club and a legend of the game," Simpson said when asked if the club were trying to move Cox on.
"We're just managing him in the right way.
"He looked a bit sore a few weeks ago and a bit heavy in the legs so we think the freshen up will be really good for him."
The scenario was made even more intriguing by the fact that Cox is the club's official ruck coach and the mentor for Naitanui, Lycett, and Sinclair.
"He can't drop himself and he can't pick himself either," Simpson said.
"It's a small part of his role. His main role is to play. But he's developing his skills because he wants to coach. He's going to be a good coach one day."