West Coast coach Adam Simpson says the club will put their arms around Daniel Venables after the premiership forward was ruled out of 2020 with ongoing concussion symptoms.
Venables hasn't played since suffering a heavy concussion in round nine last year when he was hit in the head by an opponent's hip before striking his head on the Optus Stadium turf as he fell.
The Eagles were hopeful Venables would be able to return to playing duties this year.
But the 21-year-old is still suffering the after-effects of the concussion, and the Eagles have made the decision to rule a line through him for 2020 in the hope he can make a full recovery.
"We've worked very hard with Dan to try and get him best prep and see where he's at physically," Simpson said.
"It just hasn't pulled up well enough and he's going to take the rest of the year off. It's really disappointing for him and obviously his family, but it's the right thing to do.
"He's going OK ... but it gets to a certain point where he can't go to that next level and I think the best thing for him and his health would be to pull it back."
Simpson is hopeful Venables can return next year - but there are no guarantees.
"It was round nine last year when we had the incident, so we've given it every opportunity and the progression is just taking more time than we thought," Simpson said.
"We'll pull back a bit, do the right thing and see how he goes in the next six months.
"He's in good spirits. He's been preparing for this for a little bit. We'll work through as best we can, and put our arms around him as much as we can."
The news came on the same day that researchers revealed that Graham 'Polly' Farmer had been posthumously diagnosed with Stage III chronic traumatic encephalopathy (CTE) following tests on the former champion ruckman's brain.
Farmer is the first AFL player to be diagnosed with the disease believed to be caused by repeated head knocks and concussions, which is only able to be diagnosed after death.
Meanwhile, Tim Kelly tallied 27 disposals and Josh Kennedy booted 6.0 in West Coast's eight-point pre-season loss to Essendon in Perth on Thursday.
The Eagles struggled in the swirly wind and wet conditions, but Kelly's strong second half, Nic Naitanui's ruck dominance, and Kennedy's supreme effort up forward were big positives to come out of the match.
"We'll probably walk away with a glass half full with no injuries and some things to work on," Simpson said.
Australian Associated Press