AAP AFL

Devastated Eagle vows to put on brave face

By AAP Newswire

Injured West Coast defender Brad Sheppard has vowed to put on a brave face and do whatever he can behind the scenes to help his teammates win the AFL flag.

Sheppard has been ruled out for up to three months after tearing his left hamstring during last week's qualifying final win over Collingwood.

The 27-year-old is likely to undergo surgery this week but the pain of missing out on West Coast's flag push is what's hurting him the most.

Sheppard said the injury was devastating but he's taking inspiration from injured ruckman Nic Naitanui, who's been providing moral support to his teammates since rupturing his ACL for a second time earlier this season.

Sheppard is now determined to help young defenders Tom Cole and Liam Duggan during the finals series.

"They both performed really well in the final the other night," Sheppard told TAB Radio.

"I'll try to help out as much as I can because I don't really want to distance myself too much from the boys.

"I've been there all year and love the footy club and what it's about. If I can take part still in what's to come that would be great.

"I'm sort of coming to terms with what's going on (with the injury) but understanding that as a club we're in a great position with a home prelim.

"So I've got to put a brave face on with the boys because I think we've got a real chance this year."

Veteran defender Will Schofield is set to replace Sheppard in the senior side for next week's preliminary final.

West Coast will take on the winner of Friday night's semi-final clash between Hawthorn and Melbourne at the MCG.

Sheppard said he knew he was in trouble straight away when his hamstring tore but was holding out hope the scans would show only minor damage.

However, his worst fears were confirmed on Monday when the scans showed he had suffered damage to the tendon.