GREATER Western Sydney's Callan Ward is likely to miss a host of matches in the final month of the home and away season after sustaining a nasty finger injury in his side's loss to West Coast.
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The former co-captain suffered a compound fracture to the middle finger of his left hand in the third term and was ruled out for the remainder of the 12-point loss.
Ward was consulting a surgeon in Perth on Sunday night after the game to assess the best treatment of the painful injury.
"I'm told it's a compound fracture and he's off to see the surgeon at 8pm tonight," coach Leon Cameron said post-match.
"It doesn't look good, clearly.
"There's some photos around of the finger being out of whack at the moment. He's a tough player, I thought he was playing some good footy.
"He's had a wretched run of luck the last year-and-a-half with all his injuries (including a ruptured ACL). If they have to operate and he's out for a while that's an opportunity for someone else to come in."
Cameron pointed to 195cm key forward Jake Riccardi as one example after the 20-year-old kicked two goals and took 10 marks in an impressive debut against an imposing Eagles defence.
While acknowledging his side controlled large periods of the match, Cameron was left disappointed with his side's "concentration" at stages to gift runs of momentum to the Eagles.
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The 11th-ranked Giants are half a game and percentage out of the top eight, with Fremantle, Carlton, Adelaide, Melbourne and St Kilda to come.
Eagles coach Adam Simpson was thrilled with his side's eighth consecutive win but fully aware of what lies ahead in four days when West Coast returns to Queensland for its second hub stint.
"Nic (Naitanui) set us up and Gov (Jeremy McGovern) probably saved us," Simpson said.
"To get the win, we're really happy with our players, but we've got the Tigers this week and we've got to go up another level to compete with them."
"We're challenging our list, (we) debuted another player today (Xavier O'Neill) which was great.
"(Josh) Rotham's taken another step, Jackson Nelson, Tom Cole, (Nic) Reid… our side's looking different but we're still winning which is great.
"We do understand we do need to go to another level, though."
The Eagles will depart for Gold Coast on Tuesday before facing the Tigers on Thursday – the second match of a five-match block inside 19 days.
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Simpson said last week the Eagles would only rest players on merit depending on how they recover in the condensed window.
That may include ruckman Nic Naitanui who played 78 per cent game time on Sunday – his highest output of the season.