West Coast coach Adam Simpson has revealed Luke Shuey will be sidelined for longer than first thought, with the club still unsure when the star skipper can return.
Shuey suffered another hamstring tear during the club's 37-point AFL win over Port Adelaide last weekend.
It was his first match back since injuring his hamstring during the preseason and he also suffered numerous soft tissue setbacks last year, including a game where he strained both hamstrings.
West Coast are at a loss to explain the spate of Shuey's soft tissue injuries and they will search far and wide for answers.
The Eagles initially hoped Shuey would only miss between three to four weeks with his latest setback.
But with scans showing the injury is a recurrence, Simpson says that timeline will now be extended out.
"We haven't got to the bottom of it yet. We're still investigating but it's going to be a longer period than a normal hamstring," Simpson said.
"It's the same area, so that automatically means extra weeks.
"Normally it's a 21-dayer. But when you (injure) the same area, it's always longer. So whether it's four or six - I couldn't tell you.
"We're still investigating it all and we'll get a bit more clarity by the end of the week."
With COVID-19 restrictions in place all around the world, West Coast don't have the option of sending Shuey to Europe to seek answers from world-famous doctors.
Simpson is hopeful the club's medical team can come up with some answers.
In better news, Simpson will be given an approximate return-to-play date for star midfielder Elliot Yeo by the end of the week.
Yeo hasn't played since round 11 last year, with a serious case of osteitis pubis grinding him to a halt.
The 27-year-old has made significant progress in the last few weeks and he's expected to return to playing duties before the mid-season bye.
West Coast take on St Kilda at Marvel Stadium on Saturday and Simpson is expecting a fierce backlash following the Saints' 75-point loss to Essendon.
"I think it's going to be game on this week," Simpson said.
"I can only imagine what St Kilda are feeling after a disappointing loss. I think they're going to come out swinging.
"I know Ratts reasonably well. I know he's a proud man. I know they're a proud club."
Australian Associated Press