Rutten fitness crucial to Crows teammate - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Rutten fitness crucial to Crows teammate

By Daniel Brettig 30/04/2008 06:19:02 PM Comments (0)

Adelaide's defensive cornerstone Ben Rutten is likely to recover from a heavily corked buttock in time to play against North Melbourne at home on Saturday night.

But there is one teammate who must be secretly hoping Rutten pulls up sore enough to need some additional help on the last line of defence - Ken McGregor.

Though he reached 150 AFL games earlier this year, McGregor's place as a forward is far from secure following a string of nondescript performances that highlighted his lack of leg speed.

A stable of young talls including Ivan Maric, Taylor Walker, James Sellar, plus serious knee injury survivor Trent Hentschel and mature age recruit Nick Gill, could all lay claim to McGregor's spot before the year is out.

Last week against Carlton, McGregor was barely sighted in the first half before Rutten's knock called for the Crows to switch him back to defence, where he excelled alongside Nathan Bassett and Nathan Bock.

Bassett said it was clear McGregor enjoyed the chance to get back to a role he filled with aplomb several years ago.

"Kenny appreciated it too, he did a good job when he came back in the second half, he was a very good defender for a long period of time for our footy club, and he was able to play his role well on the weekend," Bassett said.

"I'd expect Ben to play, he doesn't like missing games and he really wants to play (for the Dream Team) the week after.

"But one of the great things about the team now is that we've started to add some real depth to our defence and more of our guys have the ability to play different roles.

"Nathan Bock came in last week when Ben went down and did a great job on Brendan Fevola and Scott Stevens can play that sort of role in defence too.

"I think we can cover Ben a lot better than we would've been able to in the past."

Wingman Brad Symes is also in some doubt for the Crows due to a rolled ankle suffered in the second half of the Blues match at the MCG.

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