West's return a must for Bulldogs: Eade - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

West's return a must for Bulldogs: Eade

By Robert Grant 22/07/2008 04:03:53 PM Comments (0)

Regaining veteran Scott West before the AFL finals is a high priority for Western Bulldogs coach Rodney Eade - even though he will be only 75 per cent fit when he returns.

West, 33, has an unusual bone stress fracture in his right knee but Eade said the midfielder was on target to return within a month.

"He had a scan on Monday and it was a pretty positive result," Eade said.

"He's been running on the deloader (a machine which lightens the load on his legs) for about two weeks.

"He ran for the first time in about two weeks on the ground on Monday.

"We've got to get enough condition - football condition - into him so that he won't break down as far as soft tissue injuries.

"It's not a concern but we're going to do the right thing by him.

"In round 18 or 19 he'll play at Williamstown."

Eade said West's inclusion would benefit the side in several ways, even if he was not fully fit.

"If he gets back to three quarters of his playing ability I think he's going to add something to the side.

"Apart from being a leader and his experience, he's a pretty tough player and I think the way he can set an example to his teammates would be terrific for us," he said.

Meanwhile, Eade said he was confident the Bulldogs would not capitulate again this year in the way they did in losing to Geelong on Saturday.

The Cats booted eight goals to one in the final quarter to demolish the Dogs by 61 points at Skilled Stadium.

"We had a pretty good review and the players were positive about going forward and what we can do to rectify it," Eade said.

"We spoke about the last quarter and they were reasonably honest about the way they felt.

"It's marvellous the way a couple of things don't go your way and the doubt creeps in.

"I think in those situations in the past during the year (where) we've done pretty well we've been in losable spots I suppose and been able to dig ourselves out of it.

"I think the guys have got confidence that that sort of situation won't happen again."

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