JEREMY Cameron's recovery from a perforated eardrum means he can't fly for four weeks, ruling the All Australian out of next week's trip to Perth to face West Coast.
Cameron copped a heavy knock to his ear in the first quarter of last week's loss to Gold Coast and managed to play on, but still required surgery on Tuesday.
He was able to take his place in the line-up for Saturday's 35-point defeat to Port Adelaide in Canberra, but will be a big omission for the already tough trip west.
"He’s not going to Perth," coach Leon Cameron confirmed on Saturday after the game.
"Unfortunately with his minor operation on Tuesday, he can't fly for four weeks and it's too big an ask to jump on a train or in a car.
"He'd have to start heading now.
"He's not going to play against the Eagles, but someone else steps up to take his place."
Last week, Jonathon Patton was shifted into defence in a bid to further the young forward's education and against the Power it was Cameron's turn.
Held to just one goal to half-time, Cameron was shifted into defence, where he wasn't out of his depth in a duel with Justin Westhoff.
"I thought he was terrific after half-time," his coach said.
"We've been toying with him and Jon (Patton) to play that role and add another string to their bow when things aren't working out.
"I thought (Tom) Jonas had the better of Jeremy in the first half, but to go back and play Westhoff and (Jay) Schulz at times was really, really good for him."
While Cameron had a learning experience against Port, it was GWS skipper Callan Ward leading from the front after an incredible game.
The captain had a career-high 40 touches and added 11 marks, nine clearances and eight tackles in a stunning individual performance.
He also copped a knock during the game but battled on in a typically courageous effort.
"He obviously led from the front," Cameron said.
"He copped a hit in the funny bone early, so I was a little bit concerned there for a few minutes, but it freed up and then he played some really good footy.
"He always has a crack every week."
Asked if Ward was now in the elite category, Cameron said: "I think he's got a bit to go, but he's definitely starting to forge his way towards becoming a real quality midfielder.
"We're rapt with the way he's captaining the footy club as well.
"It's disappointing we've had our last four losses after being 2-1, but what's really positive is that Cal and some of our young leaders are helping us stay in games.
"This time last year that was an 80-point loss to Port.
"At least we're bringing that margin down and our leadership is getting better each week."