WEST Coast coach Adam Simpson will use the JLT Community Series to trial players in attack, following confirmation that pressure forward Jamie Cripps is racing the clock for round one.

Cripps has undergone surgery on a niggling toe injury from last season and will be on modified training duties for at least a month.

The Eagles will likely field a youthful and inexperienced forward line early in the season if Cripps isn't available, with retired sharpshooter Mark LeCras also needing to be replaced.

The premiership duo combined for 70 goals last season, and have been mainstays of West Coast's attack during Simpson's tenure.

"Jamie Cripps won't play the JLT series, he'll be pushing (it) for round one," Simpson said.

"Young (Jack) Petruccelle has been having a bit of a breakout pre-season, so we're hoping he keeps developing.

"(Jake) Waterman is the same, he just looks like a stronger, bigger, fitter player already.

"Obviously, you've got (Liam) Ryan and (Willie) Rioli and these guys as well, but they're hard players to replace, especially LeCras, it wasn't just his skill, it was his leadership and direction.

"We had a really young forward line last year, so we'll miss him."

Promisingly for West Coast, spearhead Josh Kennedy (shoulder) should be fit for the club's first pre-season clash with Geelong on March 1.

Several big-name Eagles are on modified programs, including star defender Jeremy McGovern, who last week underwent surgery on the ribs he broke during the Grand Final.

"He was looking good, Gov," Simpson said.

"He damaged his ribs in the Grand Final and it just hasn't recovered as well as we would've liked, so just a little plate put in there just to help recovery.

"It's a two-or-three-week thing and then he's back into full training, so we're anticipating he'll be fine for the JLT series.

"He hasn't missed a beat, really, since he came back, so he's got some credits in the bank."

Dual club champion Elliot Yeo and full-back Tom Barrass are expected to resume main training soon after overcoming toe complaints, and Chris Masten (adductor) will be back in full training next week.

Daniel Venables (knee) and Brayden Ainsworth (finger) are also on the comeback trail.

Spring-heeled ruckman Nic Naitanui (ACL) continues to build his running program after training in the US during his Christmas break, and remains ahead of schedule.

Simpson expects gun onballer Andrew Gaff, who is suspended until round three, will play at least one JLT match, and the coach has no issue picking him against Fremantle on March 10.

"I'm not too worried about that side of things. I'm sure you guys (media) will try to build it up to a certain degree, but for us it's just getting him back into the side when we can get him," he said.

Simpson cut a relaxed figure on Wednesday, but entering his sixth season at the helm the premiership mentor denied the pressure has been lifted off his shoulders.

"Unfortunately, I don't think the pressure is ever off. It doesn't matter who you are, if you're a coach in this industry, there's always pressure," Simpson said.

"There's just different types of pressure and that's just our job."