WEST Coast could be without crucial midfielder Tim Kelly for several weeks after he joined a growing injury list full of stars with a medial ligament injury on Saturday night.
The Eagles will also be without young star Oscar Allen for the crunch match against Carlton in round 12 after it was confirmed the important tall had suffered concussion in a 16-point loss to Essendon at Optus Stadium.
The double blow, which came as dual club champion Elliot Yeo returned but needed to be managed after a long battle with osteitis pubis, has left the Eagles vulnerable after their first loss at home this season.
EAGLES v BOMBERS Full match coverage and stats
Coach Adam Simpson did not want to use injuries as an excuse for the Eagles' second-half fade-out, which saw them surrender a 29-point lead and slip two games and significant percentage outside the top four.
"We weren't tough enough for long enough really," the coach said.
"Having some players underdone doesn't help when you have two injuries … (but) I don't think we should dwell on that too much.
"We couldn't win a contest in front of the ball late, they played really well, and they got us on the outside.
"The will to win was there for the most part, but not the whole part."
Kelly and Allen join captain Luke Shuey (hamstring), four-time All-Australian Jeremy McGovern (knee), premiership defender Liam Duggan (knee), and recruit Alex Witherden (groin) on the injury list.
Simpson said the in-game setbacks had not altered the way Yeo was played, having headed into the match intending to manage the 27-year-old's game time.
"He was a bit rusty early and he worked into it. He'll build his minutes, but we've got to manage him for the rest of the year," Simpson said.
Essendon won its third match in a row to break into the top eight on Saturday night, with coach Ben Rutten describing it as a win full of "spirit and character".
"It was huge. It was a fantastic effort. There is a lot of uncertainty at the moment so to come over here and focus on our job and do what we needed to do was great," he said.
"The boys showed huge spirit and character and it's something we're going to have to draw upon in our journey moving forward. It was a significant game for us.
"Every player tried their hearts out and had significant moments at different times … it's our first win away as a group this year and it was something the guys were really keen to do."
Essendon lost ruck/forward Peter Wright pre-game to a calf injury, with the former Sun unlikely to be available against Richmond in round 12.
Rutten said the team would embrace staying in Perth ahead of their Dreamtime clash against the Tigers, which is expected – but not confirmed – to be held at Optus Stadium.
"We'll find out a bit more about what that looks like, hopefully tomorrow or by Monday," Rutten said.
"It's a fantastic stadium to play footy at, there's nothing to fear coming here, it's a great environment and a great energy.
"Wherever we need to play next week we'll turn up and do our best.
"Our Perth supporters certainly turned out tonight and we know our Melbourne-based supporters would be enjoying tonight's game."