WEST Coast will give veteran defender Brad Sheppard as much time as he needs to weigh up his playing future as he deals with the effects of concussion.
Sheppard has reportedly battled ongoing symptoms after missing the final round of the season with delayed concussion arising from the round 22 loss to Fremantle.
There is doubt surrounding the 30-year-old's ability to play on next year after he suffered multiple concussions in the second half of last season, including a heavy knock against Carlton in round 12.
The Eagles farewelled 2018 premiership player Daniel Venables in August after an AFL medical panel recommended the 22-year-old avoid all contact sport, effectively forcing him to retire.
Venables had not played since suffering a significant head knock against Melbourne in round nine, 2019.
West Coast CEO Trevor Nisbett said Sheppard's call on playing in 2022 was entirely his own, while stressing that the circumstances were different to those that brought Venables' career to a premature end.
"It's not like Dan's. Dan's is a traumatic brain injury in a collision which obviously is different to someone who suffers from two, three or four concussions and there's different scenarios," Nisbett told Sportsday WA.
"But certainly from Bradley's point of view, as a football club, we're not going to take risks with any of our players' health, but we want to give Bradley as much time as possible to make the call that he believes is right.
"He's got a lot of footy left ahead of him if he wants to keep playing but again, it's going to end up a health decision and a decision that only Bradley can make.
"It's something that we'll just have to give him as much time as we can."
Nisbett said Sheppard, a 2020 AFL All-Australian, had been able to do some light activity but it was unclear whether he would be able to join the Eagles' full squad when they return to training next week.
"It's an interesting one because he can do some activity," Nisbett said further.
"But if there are symptoms that come back he's got to go back to square one to just rest.
"We'll talk to Brad in the next couple of days and find out whether he's ready to commence training next week.
"If he's not ready, he certainly won't be commencing training with the rest of the guys next Monday."