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Thursday, January 24, 2019

West Coast forward Jamie Cripps facing delayed start to season 2019

Suspended West Coast star Andrew Gaff will play during the JLT Community Series but coach Adam Simpson isn’t sure whether he will be selected for the game against Fremantle.
Gaff still has two games to serve from his eight-game suspension for striking young Docker Andrew Brayshaw. Suspended players are free to compete during the AFL pre-season, opening the door for Gaff to confront the Dockers in March instead of waiting until the first derby of the season.
Simpson said Gaff would get an opportunity to find match fitness during the JLT games but the club hadn’t made concrete plans. He said the prospect of getting his first clash with Fremantle out of the way before the season wasn’t a consideration.
“I’m not too worried about that side of things,” Simpson said.
“For us it’s just getting him back in the side whenever we can get him.
“I would assume he’d play a game. Maybe a game-and-a-half.
“He’ll miss the first couple of rounds so we’ve got to be aware of that because he won’t be there for round one. But he’ll definitely be there when he’s available.”
Simpson said small forward Jamie Cripps wouldn’t play during the pre-season and is unlikely to be fit for round one against Brisbane. Cripps had recent toe surgery.
Elliot Yeo and Tom Barrass have also had foot issues but they will re-join the main group next week.
Star defender Jeremy McGovern also had recent surgery to fix the rib injury he suffered during the grand final. But Simpson said that would have little impact on his training.
“It was just a little plate put in there to help recovery,” Simpson said.
“It’s a two or three week thing and then he’s back into full training. We’re anticipating he’ll be fine for the JLT series.”