BRENDON Ah Chee's hopes of making a round one debut for West Coast have been dashed due to a worse than expected ankle issue.
Ah Chee was hurt in a tackle from former Port Adelaide teammate Jasper Pittard during the third quarter of Sunday's two-point JLT Community Series victory.
Speaking post-match, coach Adam Simpson was optimistic the injury was only a rolled ankle.
But the 24-year-old recruit was spotted on crutches on Tuesday and scans have revealed a high ankle sprain.
"We’ve put him on crutches for the next three-to-five days and we’ll progress from there," general manager of football Craig Vozzo told westcoasteagles.com.au.
"He’s obviously disappointed that he’ll be missing games because he’s got a really good base of training from which to build on.
"The good news is that with that solid pre-season, if we can get him running in the next three-to-four weeks, we won’t be too far behind the eight-ball.
"Then he’ll be able to make his way back to some games in the early part of the year and hopefully playing in the seniors before you know it."
Ah Chee's injury is an untimely blow after he joined the club on a one-year deal in a bid to prove himself following a frustrating six-year stint at the Power which only netted him 26 appearances.
The big-bodied onballer will miss the season-opener against Sydney at Optus Stadium on March 25 and is likely to be forced to return via WAFL-affiliate East Perth.
Meanwhile, the Eagles will hold Jeremy McGovern out of Sunday's scratch match against Fremantle after he copped a heavy hit from Robbie Gray in the opening term.
McGovern sat out the rest of the game following the collision and Gray has since been suspended for Port's season-opener against the Dockers.
"It was obviously a significant blow to the head. He’s recovering quite well from the concussion," Vozzo said.
"He’s had a pretty slow start to the week and he’ll have a light week.
"We expect him to be able to train at the weekend, but he’s not going to be playing in the practice game against Freo."
The Eagles expect exciting small forward Willie Rioli to lineup this weekend at Subiaco Oval after overcoming a minor knee knock in AFLX two weeks ago.
Rioli didn't train on Tuesday but just needs to get through Thursday's session to be cleared to play.