Bulldogs may gamble on injured Johnson - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Bulldogs may gamble on injured Johnson

By Robert Grant 23/04/2008 05:20:43 PM Comments (0)

The Western Bulldogs may gamble again on captain Brad Johnson in Saturday night's match against West Coast at Telstra Dome.

Johnson aggravated a calf injury during last week's draw with Richmond and faces a series of fitness tests over the next few days.

But the Bulldogs are considering playing the 304-game veteran and trying to manage him through the game, according to assistant coach Leon Cameron.

"We've had a bit of a debate over that, considering he's played 300-odd games," Cameron said.

"He hasn't missed a lot of games in his career so I think we'll just assess it Thursday and Friday and maybe Brad Johnson 90 per cent fit is OK to play.

"He's still a little bit sore. It's no secret that the last few weeks he's been struggling a little bit with his body.

"Hopefully he can get up for Saturday night and hopefully he'll train with us later on in the week and we'll make an assessment on him."

The Bulldogs will also be boosted by the return of experienced midfielder Scott West while fullback Brian Lake, who was the centre of last week's controversial draw with Richmond, is also set to line up.

Cameron said West, who has recovered from minor knee surgery, was "ready to go".

"He trained yesterday and he'll train later on in the week and is obviously champing at the bit to get back after seeing the performances of the guys the last couple of weeks," Cameron said.

Lake, who has kicked 11 goals in a 102-game career, marked the ball in the dying seconds of the Richmond game but was unable to take the kick apparently because of a hamstring injury.

The kick was given to ruck-forward Will Minson who booted the goal and levelled the scores.

The Bulldogs insist Lake was genuinely hurt and had been carrying an injury for the whole season but would play this weekend.

"He'll be fine, we've just got to monitor him but we expect him to play," Cameron said.

"He's got to have a fitness test but he's had an injury since pre-season and it's outstanding that he's actually got up for these first four or five games."

According to Cameron the Eagles will be difficult to beat despite their lowly ladder position.

"Their last quarter (at Subiaco) at the weekend was fantastic. Ten minutes more in the that game and the Eagles could have rolled Port (Adelaide).

"They took a stance, probably in the second half of that game so they're probably looking to take that into this week's game.

"Plus they thumped us here last year so they've got a good record against us," Cameron said.

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