Hawks, Cats to be strengthened - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Hawks, Cats to be strengthened

By Adam Cooper 27/07/2008 03:49:25 PM Comments (0)

Hawthorn's midfield strength could run deeper this Friday, with up to four onballers pressing for selection in the round 18 opener against Collingwood at the MCG.

Brownlow medallist Shane Crawford is a chance to return from knee tendinitis, Stuart Dew and Ben McGlynn could be passed ready after intense training blocks and winger Clinton Young is likely to be available after missing two games with back tightness.

While returns for Hawthorn and Geelong will be good news in the run-home to the finals, Sydney have their share of headaches before a clash against the in-form Western Bulldogs in Canberra on Sunday.

Swans superstar Adam Goodes has already been ruled out of the game because of his battles with groin soreness and a jarred hip, and full-forward Michael O'Loughlin will remain sidelined because of an ankle injury.

On top of those concerns, half-back Nick Malceski (calf) and forward Henry Playfair (hamstring) remain in doubt, although defender Leo Barry could return after missing Saturday night's defeat to Adelaide through a hamstring injury.

The absence of O'Loughlin and Goodes, along with the doubt over Playfair, means the pressure will be on the Swans to kick a winning score against the high-scoring Bulldogs.

Sydney could only manage six goals against the Crows and Barry Hall struggled in his return from a club-imposed suspension.

Despite their strong season, the Hawks have struggled to field their best side.

But Crawford has trained well in recent weeks and could play his first game since round 15, while Dew (hamstring) and McGlynn (quad) were available to play Geelong on Friday night, but will benefit from long training blocks.

Geelong should also be bolstered, as star midfielder Gary Ablett is expected to return to play Richmond on Saturday night after missing two games with an ankle problem.

Defenders Darren Milburn (virus) and David Wojcinski (Achilles) will be available, while onballer Cameron Ling will also press for selection after he suffered a fractured cheekbone in round 15.

The returning players will give coach Mark Thompson a few headaches at selection, mainly over who to drop from a side which has won 16 of 17 games.

But half-forward Paul Chapman will definitely miss the clash against the Tigers, after he strained his hamstring in the win over the Hawks.

St Kilda are hopeful fullback Max Hudghton will overcome a calf injury to play Port Adelaide.

The Saints will regain forward Justin Koschitzke, who sat out Saturday's loss to West Coast because of suspension.

Hawthorn also do not have to worry about star midfielder Luke Hodge missing a game through his fiancee's pregnancy, as she gave birth to the couple's first child, a son, on Saturday night.

Hodge had said he would have sat out of Friday night's game had his fiance Lauren given birth that day.

Brought to you by AAP AAP © 2020 AAP

0 Comments about this article

Post a comment about this article

Please sign in to leave a comment.
Becoming a member is free and easy, sign up here.

« All sports news