Is Eagle Nic Nat done for the AFL season?

Nic Naitanui struggled with an ankle problem in the one-point loss to Collingwood.
Nic Naitanui struggled with an ankle problem in the one-point loss to Collingwood.

West Coast ruckman Nic Naitanui could miss the rest of the AFL season after suffering a syndesmosis ankle injury in the one-point loss to Collingwood last Friday.

Naitanui fell awkwardly on his right ankle after a mid-air collision early in the game, but he bravely played out the match.

The extent of the damage has become clearer over the past few days, with the Eagles nervously awaiting the results of scans.

West Coast will release the results of those scans by Wednesday.

The Eagles expect Naitanui to miss an "extended period". If the injury is at the more serious end of the scale, it will be curtains for 2019.

"We've got several scans that we need to follow up on. But these things range from four to six, (and up) to 16 weeks," Eagles coach Adam Simpson told channel 7.

"So we're not sure how bad it is. As soon as we get the details, we'll let everyone know."

If Naitanui is ruled out for the remainder of the season, it would be a bitter blow to both him and West Coast.

Naitanui was just three games into his comeback from a second knee reconstruction, and his stunning form gave West Coast's midfield a sharper attacking edge.

The 29-year-old missed last year's premiership after undergoing knee surgery, and he was desperate to taste the ultimate success this year.

His absence has now placed enormous pressure on the shoulders of Tom Hickey, starting with Sunday's showdown against Melbourne's Max Gawn in Alice Springs.

Gawn tallied 56 hitouts, seven clearances and 15 disposals against Hickey and Nathan Vardy in round nine.

The Eagles' ruck duo combined for just 18 hitouts in that game, which West Coast won by 16 points courtesy of their star power in other parts of the ground.

Eagles midfielder Dom Sheed backed Hickey to perform well against Gawn.

"I have faith Hick can do the job," Sheed said.

"I'm sure it's something he'd be looking forward to."

West Coast will be without Jamie Cripps for several weeks after the goalsneak injured his groin against the Magpies.

But Jack Petruccelle has put his hand up to replace him after booting five goals in the WAFL.

Australian Associated Press