Eagles voice doubts over Malceski's knee - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Eagles voice doubts over Malceski's knee

By Justin Chadwick 06/06/2008 05:29:22 PM Comments (0)

West Coast assistant coach Peter Sumich has questioned the fitness of Sydney's comeback kid Nick Malceski, saying the Eagles believe he struggled at training on Thursday and could be in doubt for Saturday's AFL clash.

Malceski underwent innovative surgery on his knee using a synthetic fibre after rupturing his anterior cruciate ligament in February.

Conventional surgery would have ruled out the 23-year-old for a year but the defender made a remarkable return to senior football just three months later.

He has played in Sydney's past three games, which included a 16-possession, one-goal performance against the Tigers last week.

But Sumich said he was unsure whether Malceski would take part in Saturday night's clash with the Eagles at Subiaco Oval.

"We watched training yesterday and I think Malceski didn't complete training and seemed to hobble a little bit with his knee, so it will be interesting (come) selection tomorrow night whether he's playing or not," Sumich said.

But a Sydney spokesman scoffed at Sumich's suggestions, saying Malceski had not re-injured his knee and was a certain starter against the Eagles.

Earlier in the day, Sydney coach Paul Roos spoke of his amazement at Malceski's speedy recovery.

"Watching him go through it was extraordinary ... he really didn't miss a beat," Roos said.

"But we still probably need to get through the year and even maybe another pre-season and things like that and then we can clink the champagne glasses.

"All of the football world would like to see Mal keep playing well because it's a significant difference to see a guy go through a 12-month rehab as opposed to a 12-week rehab.

"Mentally it's a massive difference."

Fremantle's Luke Webster, who underwent the same procedure after rupturing his anterior cruciate ligament, is progressing well.

Meanwhile, West Coast have made seven changes to the side handed a 100-point flogging by Collingwood last week.

Brad Ebert (ankle), Will Schofield (thigh), Josh Kennedy (knee), Matt Rosa (ankle) and Beau Waters (suspended) were ruled out while forwards Ben McKinley and Steven Armstrong were dropped.

Into the side comes Adam Hunter, Sam Butler, Jaymie Graham, Mark Nicoski, Chris Masten, Mark Seaby and Ryan Davis.

Forward Ashley Hansen couldn't be considered after suffering a corked buttock playing WAFL reserves last week.

The Swans have made just one change to the team that beat Richmond by 82 points, with Ed Barlow replacing Craig Bird.

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