Crows can carry Porplyzia, says Craig - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Crows can carry Porplyzia, says Craig

By Daniel Brettig 29/08/2008 04:44:50 PM Comments (0)

Coach Neil Craig insists Adelaide will not be caught short against the fleet-footed Western Bulldogs if Jason Porplyzia's shoulder fails him again on Saturday.

The Crows have again taken the calculated risk of naming Porplyzia to play at AAMI Stadium despite an ever more suspect shoulder, which popped out yet again on Wednesday as he made his return to competitive training after three weeks on the sidelines due to brain bruising.

Craig is near certain there will be another dislocation on Saturday, but is gambling that the arm will slot back in place and allow Porplyzia to keep playing, as it did during his memorable five-goal performance against Sydney at the SCG a month ago.

"All Jason needs to be clear of is, if we can get the shoulder back in, the pain aspect of it afterwards and is he able to continue to perform? If the answer is yes, then let's continue to play with it knowing that it could come out," Craig said.

"Unless there's something unusual about the next dislocation that he gets (he'll keep playing), but if that's the case then all bets will be off.

"At the moment we'll continue to push on under those conditions."

Should Porplyzia's shoulder be in such a bad way that he cannot return to the field, Craig believes he will have the numbers to keep pace with the Bulldogs, in a match Adelaide must win to guarantee a home final.

"Depending what we do with (ruckman Kurt) Tippett and whether we play him up forward as well as in the ruck, we could end up with four midfielders on the bench at some stage in the game," Craig said.

"If you lose one, you've still got some artillery there to continue on.

"It always makes it difficult when you start losing people out of the game that can't come back on, in particular midfielders, but we've been through it before.

"We weren't able to cover it against Collingwood (in round 15) and, if we didn't get Porplyzia and Brett Burton injured, we don't know what the result would've been.

"There have been some other games this year where we have lost people and still got the result."

Western Bulldogs coach Rodney Eade said Porplyzia had grown to become one of the most feared players in the league, and indicated he would probably be playing the gifted forward if he was a Bulldog.

"(Porplyzia) has earned a lot of respect the way he plays footy full stop, he's improved year by year, he's taken his game to another level this year and he's one of the key players in the competition, there's no doubt about that," he said.

"The word is from us we'd be prepared to take that chance with Tom Williams, he's hurt his shoulder as well but unfortunately he's done his thigh, so that's what kept him out, so he would've played with the same complaint."

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