WEST Coast captain Luke Shuey is expected to face Port Adelaide on Saturday night after recovering from a hamstring injury that has sidelined him for the opening two rounds.
The Eagles had an optional recovery run on Tuesday, which Shuey didn't take part in after training over the weekend in his push to return for a crunch match against the Power at Optus Stadium.
He is expected to take part in the Eagles' main session at Optus Stadium on Wednesday night before officially being cleared to return 22 days after injuring his hamstring at training on the day of the team's season launch.
"I think he'll get through. It'll just be a matter of how his body is feeling, but he should come in pretty soon," ruckman Nic Naitanui said on Tuesday.
"He's just got that explosive nature about him and [his inclusion] will probably allow other guys to play in different roles. It just makes teams a bit more reactive having 'Boots' in the side.
"To have someone who I've worked with so closely for so long will naturally make it a bit easier."
Naitanui was brilliant against the Western Bulldogs in round two, starring with 40 hit-outs, 11 clearances and 14 contested possessions.
Significantly, his time on ground was increased from 77 minutes to 93 minutes, with the ruckman open to leaving the ground less under the reduced cap of 75 rotations in 2021.
"(At) the weekend I would have spent the majority of the last quarter on there. That's just going to naturally happen from now on with the longer game time," he said.
"I'm enjoying that and, fingers crossed, it stays like that for the rest of the year."
The club champion was not worried about his impact being reduced by the new rules, which have seen stoppage numbers decrease.
Where rival big men have adjusted to the ball being in motion more and drifting forward or back to influence the game, Naitanui was confident he could continue to thrive as a stoppage player.
"I'll continue to play the way I play," he said.
"Every ruckman is different and every ruckman has their own strengths. Mine is around the footy and he contest.
"It's simple, if you get the job done around the ball, you don't have to run forward or run back like those other ruckmen have to.
"I'm not going to change my game for the sake of the way footy looks at the moment."
The Eagles come up against 2018 premiership ruckman Scott Lycett this week, with Naitanui anticipating a "cat and mouse" battle with his former teammate after eight seasons playing together.
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The ruckman said two-time All Australian and 2015 club champion Andrew Gaff was continuing to have an impact, despite a quiet start to the season with 16 disposals in each of his first two matches.
"I don't think he's down on the way he performs, he's just playing different roles and allowing other guys to share the workload," Naitanui said.
"He plays a very team orientated role. Gaffy is one of those guys who can go out and have 30-40 touches on the weekend ... but he knows his influence comes in different forms with us at the moment.
"His numbers will come, but the guys are sharing the workload at the moment."