Koschitzke in slight injury setback - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Koschitzke in slight injury setback

By Roger Vaughan 16/02/2007 10:20:01 PM Comments (0)

St Kilda coach Ross Lyon insists Justin Koschitzke will be ready for round one of the AFL regular season, despite another injury setback.

Koschitzke missed Friday's intra-club match at Moorabbin because of what Lyon called a tweak to a leg injury he had suffered earlier in the pre-season.

While Koschitzke was among several key Saints who sat out the game as they recover from injury, Xavier Clarke delighted the crowd of about 3000 with his form.

Like Koschitzke, Clarke suffered injury problems last year on the way to the Saints dropping out in the first week of the finals.

But Clarke moved freely in attack after playing for the Indigenous All-Stars a week ago in Darwin.

Lyon said Koschitzke had enjoyed three months of solid pre-season work before his injury, which the new coach said was to his quad muscle.

"It's a two-to three-week rehab (now), but that's based on the premise that we're super-conservative with him because he's a critical resource," Lyon said.

"He had that quad, he came back to training and he did a bit of body work and tweaked it.

"He had a scan the other day, we're just managing him and we're supremely confident he will be there for round one.

"The realities of Justin is he's had three months of uninterrupted training pre-Christmas, which was his goal."

Koschitzke suffered a fractured skull last year as his rotten luck with injury continued.

Key players Nick Riewoldt, Lenny Hayes, Aaron Hamill, Max Hudghton, Matt Maguire and Raphael Clarke all missed the game.

Lyon denied speculation Hudghton had a newly-torn hamstring, but admitted the muscle was "tight".

St Kilda played three 15-minutes quarters with extended breaks to allow for the hot conditions.

While it was a scrappy game, Lyon saw good signs.

Western Bulldogs recruit Shane Birss and rookie ruckman Luke Van Rheenen had good hitouts.

"It opened up a little bit towards the end, but they worked on the areas we wanted to work on with the movement of the ball," Lyon said of his players.

"There was a bit of overuse in there, but fundamentally they tried to do what we asked them."

Apart from Clarke up forward, another interesting move was James Gwilt playing as a key defender on Fraser Gehrig.

Lyon said the group which played would be the basis of the round-one NAB Cup match next week against Brisbane in Cairns.

He added the players were about a week away from voting on their leadership group.

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