WEST Coast coach Adam Simpson is concerned Willie Rioli's AFL career could be over, but says the star forward's mental health is a priority.
The 25-year-old has been provisionally suspended for the past 16 months after allegedly substituting his urine during a routine ASADA drug test in August, 2019.
He is set to discover his fate in the coming weeks after he faced the AFL Anti-Doping Tribunal last month.
A ban of 18 months or less would free Rioli to resume playing in time for round one this season.
However, a ban of three or four years could spell the end of his AFL career.
Simpson says Rioli has been struggling with the uncertainty surrounding his future, and the premiership coach was frank when asked if he had concerns the star goalsneak might not make it back into AFL ranks.
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"Absolutely," Simpson said.
"He'll get some clarity in the next couple of weeks and we'll go from there.
"It's a really interesting conversation about what we do once we get the verdict ... and it's finalised.
"We've been pretty patient considering what's happened. Some people say that's on us and on him but it's been a little bit out of whack."
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Rioli is still in the Northern Territory with his family and Simpson said the impending judgement would provide the premiership forward with clarity about his future.
"That's really important for Willie's mental health. It's been a long time and we'll find out in the next couple of weeks," Simpson said.
"All I'm thinking about is Willie's health and wellbeing and where he is at personally. I can't control what is happening in the courts and the proceedings.
"What's done is done. Now we're just hoping we get a good hearing and get a good outcome."
Simpson said Elliot Yeo was tracking well in his recovery from osteitis pubis, but there are no guarantees the star midfielder will be ready for round one.
"He's advancing every week," Simpson said.
"We haven't had a hiccup yet. He's on running duties at the moment. The next phase for him will be change of direction (today).
"He's still on track for an early return this season. I don't think we can put a round on it. He'll be right when he's right."