Cooney touch-and-go for AFL tribute game - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Cooney touch-and-go for AFL tribute game

By Roger Vaughan 07/05/2008 07:16:48 PM Comments (0)

AFL Brownlow Medal fancy Adam Cooney moved freely at Dream Team training as he nurses an ankle injury ahead of Saturday's Hall of Fame tribute match.

Cooney will consult team medical staff and doctors at his club Western Bulldogs ahead of the game against Victoria at the MCG.

The in-form midfielder is among several stars in doubt for the game because of injury and is unsure whether he will have an injection to help him play.

"I will train today and if we get through training, we'll assess it after that, we'll see how it goes," he said before the Dream Team's first training run together.

"It (a needle) is something we'll have to discuss with the medical guys here and maybe the medical people at the Bulldogs - we haven't spoken about getting a jab yet.

"It could be a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity, with State Of Origin going out, it's going to be a massive game and all the guys here are excited to play."

Cooney said he rolled his ankle "a few weeks ago" and suffered ligament damage.

He has needed injections for the last few matches, but his early-season form has been outstanding and he currently leads the Brownlow betting.

Asked if he would encourage relatives to put money on him for the AFL's most prized individual award, Cooney smiled and said: "My family's got no spare cash to load up (with)."

The Bulldogs onballer also downplayed his form, saying it helped being part of an unbeaten side.

"It helps when the team is playing well, a lot of the guys are getting a lot more of the ball now in the midfield," he said.

"Ryan Griffen has stepped up again, which takes a little bit of heat off myself.

"Daniel Cross as well is having another great year.

"A full pre-season has helped me as well."

Cooney, Griffen and Cross have become used to kicking into an attack led by Brad Johnson and only boasting Will Minson as a big, tall marking forward.

But on Saturday night, their options will feature Lance Franklin and Matthew Pavlich, with Matthew Richardson also likely to work off a wing.

"There's a bit of height down there, obviously it's a lot taller," Cooney said.

"Obviously we have the luxury, if we're under pressure, to just bang it in long.

"It's going to be a tough choice to see who to kick it to, I suppose.

"That's where vision comes in, to pick the best option ... we'll see how it goes."

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