West Coast Eagles forward Jamie Cripps believes Oscar Allen and Jake Waterman will ‘work well’ with the Eagles’ co-captain set to return this weekend.

Provided he makes it through tomorrow’s main training session, Allen will put his hand up to play against the Bombers this weekend. 

Allen has spent the first half of the season sidelined with cartilage damage and bone bruising in his right knee that required minor surgery. 

Speaking ahead of Sunday’s match, Cripps told SportFM Allen looked keen and ready to play his first game since round one. 

He’s looking fit and ready to go and he’s keen to get out there,” he said.

“He struggled sitting on the sidelines and watching the boys play so he’s really keen to get out there. 

“It would be nice to have him out there. He’s a big target for us up forward.”

Allen’s return comes as Waterman has hit career-best form that sees him sitting in equal-third in the Coleman medal after kicking 33 goals. 

Last season, Allen finished equal-fifth in the Coleman and is a welcome return for the Eagles’ forward line. 

However, many have questioned whether Allen’s return will influence Waterman and the balance of the forward line. 

Cripps believes Allen’s return shouldn’t have an impact and is keen to see how it unfolds.

“It definitely will work. They will just have to take turns being that deepest player,” he said.

“One of Jake’s strengths is his fitness. He’s fit so it’s good at having him up the field and connecting inside 50. 

“The boys will take turns of who’s the deepest and I think it will work well and I’m keen to see how it will work.” 

The Eagles opted not to bring Allen back through the WAFL after his extended recovery from the knee injury. 

Cripps supports this decision, stating that Allen should be fine given his position and role on the field. 

“The player that he is here, he’d be right. The first game back you’re always nearly not too bad. 

You do blow up a little bit,” he said. 

“AFL is a bloody tough game. (It’s) just getting back in the swing of things, getting the fitness back up again, but he’s been doing a lot of work. 

“He hasn’t played the games, but with his role, he’s not a big match-day runner, but hopefully he can get through and kick a few goals.”

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