Player drain kicks hits AFL Fame game - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Player drain kicks hits AFL Fame game

By Guy Hand 03/05/2008 06:47:10 PM Comments (0)

The AFL's Hall of Fame match is set to be without several of its major drawcards, with Brisbane's Simon Black and Hawthorn's Luke Hodge definitely out.

Brownlow Medallist Black is facing an extended stint on the sidelines with the chronic groin complaint osteitis pubis, missing the Lions' 27-point loss to Geelong at Skilled Stadium.

Hodge damaged a hamstring playing for the Hawks in their big win over Collingwood at the MCG which will sideline him for at least a fortnight.

Brown, the Victorian captain and poster boy for the one-off match, and exciting Geelong midfielder Ablett also look likely to miss the Hall of Fame game next weekend because of injuries which kept them out of club action.

Brisbane coach Leigh Matthews said he would let Brown decide whether he was fit enough to play in next Saturday's showpiece between Victoria and a "Dream Team" comprising players from the remaining states.

But Victorian coach Mark Thompson, who coached his Geelong side to victory over Matthews' team, said if Brown and Ablett were not fit they shouldn't play.

"Really if he (Brown) is injured we can't risk that and we shouldn't put that upon him. If he is injured, he shouldn't play and be right for Brisbane the week after," Thompson said.

Matthews revealed Dream Team squad member Black, who along with Brown was a late withdrawal for the Lions, had been diagnosed with the beginnings of osteitis pubis.

The Lions are hoping discovering the problem early will help them get Black back into action sooner rather than later.

But Matthews admitted his midfield star would need at least "a few weeks off".

"If you can nip it in the bud in the very beginning ... the very first time he got it was at the end of last week's game so hopefully we can give him a spell and he'll be okay for the last two-thirds of the year," he said.

"Browny's got a kicking quad problem that wasn't right enough to play today. It's Browny's call and the people who pick the (Victorian) side's call.

"We'll hope like hell he gets through the game if he plays."

Hawthorn onballer Chance Bateman will also miss the Hall of Fame match after withdrawing from the Hawks' match against Collingwood with a cracked bone in his hand.

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