Kerr set to extend contract at West Coast
Star West Coast midfielder Daniel Kerr is set to end his AFL career as a one-club player as he closes in on a new two-year deal at the Eagles.
Kerr, who qualifies as an unrestricted free agent, is expected to put pen to paper on a new contract as early as Thursday, giving the 2007 All-Australian extra reason to celebrate ahead of his 200-game milestone this weekend.
The 29-year-old's career was at a crossroads in 2010 when he tore the hamstring off his bone while kicking a ball on the wing at Patersons Stadium.
But the premiership midfielder has since returned to top form, with coach John Worsfold predicting the time spent out of the game could even prolong Kerr's career.
"Potentially he's got another 40 or 50 games in him," Worsfold said on Wednesday.
"He's had a remarkable career considering the setbacks he's had along the way.
"He was a massive contributor to the club in winning a premiership and playing in two grand finals.
"He was a massive contributor in helping the club rebuild after the tough period, and a good character to have around.
"He's answered a lot of questions about whether he'd ever get back to playing his best football.
"I certainly always believed that he would and it's great to see him doing that with a lot more to come."
Worsfold said Kerr's toughness in the clinches and ability to fire off pin-point handballs under pressure were two of his greatest traits, likening the tough on-baller to two-times premiership midfielder Dean Kemp.
"He's done some of the brilliant things," Worsfold said of Kerr.
"But his ability to win a contested footy in a situation that you think he's going to get hurt in, and then still get it out to a teammate in space, has been spectacular."
But while Kerr is about to celebrate a new deal, forward Mark Nicoski faces a nervous wait after his 2012 campaign was brought to an end following another setback to his damaged hamstring.
Nicoski booted 41 goals in a breakout 2011 campaign, but doubts over the durability of his body could cost the 28-year-old a chance to continue his career next year.
Worsfold said Nicoski's setback at training shouldn't deter fellow stars Josh Kennedy (ankle), Andrew Embley (shoulder) and Mark LeCras (knee) from pushing hard in their own rehab programs.
The Eagles are set to be bolstered by the return of Adam Selwood and Will Schofield in Saturday's clash with in-form North Melbourne in Hobart, while Sam Butler and Ash Smith are also in the selection mix.