AFL gets influx of returning stars - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

AFL gets influx of returning stars

By Adam Cooper 05/06/2003 08:19:13 PM Comments (0)

Jason McCartney won't be the only comeback star in Friday night's round 11 AFL opener, with Richmond to gamble on ruck-forward Brad Ottens.

Richmond named Ottens to play the Kangaroos at the Telstra Dome for his first game this year after surgery on a prolapsed disc in his back in the pre-season.

Ottens has been perched on 99 games for nine months but returns early in a major boost for Richmond, which faces an opponent emotionally-charged by the return of Bali bomb survivor McCartney.

McCartney has been named in a back pocket and midfielder Shannon Grant also returns for a crucial game between the Roos (eighth) and Richmond (seventh).

Richmond coach Danny Frawley said Ottens was ready to return after three weeks of training.

"We know the roof is going to be shut so it's probably going to suit marking-type players," he said.

"It's going to give everyone a huge lift, no more than Greg Stafford and Ray Hall - they've been able to shoulder a lot of the responsibility over the first 10 weeks and they've done it well.

"He's a quality player, there are certain players at all clubs who probably get the right to play in the main game - three or four at every club who, when they're fit and ready to go, you'd prefer them to play in the higher standard."

Frawley said fullback Darren Gaspar, knocked on the knee at training on Tuesday, was also right to play.

"He had a fitness test and trained for 40 minutes, these guys only trained for 20 today," he said.

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