Ben Cousins on edge as D-day looms - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Ben Cousins on edge as D-day looms

By Sam Lienert 11/11/2008 04:03:20 PM Comments (0)

Ben Cousins' manager says the former West Coast skipper is under near "volcanic" stress ahead of next Tuesday's AFL Commission meeting to decide whether he can make a comeback.

The commission will determine the playing fate of the recovering drug addict at their meeting in Sydney.

Cousins was suspended for 12 months last November for bringing the game into disrepute.

The AFL's ruling body will begin its two-day meeting on Monday, but a league spokesman said other issues, including the proposed western Sydney expansion club, would be discussed that day, with Cousins' future to be decided on Tuesday.

Both Cousins' manager Ricky Nixon and the AFL have refused to detail the process to determine the 2005 Brownlow Medallist's readiness for a comeback.

But Nixon said the mounting pressure on Cousins and his family and associates was taking its toll.

"The amount of stress everybody's under is coming to (a point where) it's almost volcanic at the moment and it's not far off exploding," Nixon told Melbourne's SEN radio.

He said Cousins was trying to stay out of the spotlight to try to minimise the pressure in the lead-up to the hearing.

Brisbane have expressed an interest in meeting with Cousins, although St Kilda remain the frontrunners to recruit him.

But Nixon said Cousins was unlikely to meet with the Lions or make a final decision on which club he favoured until after getting the all-clear from the AFL.

"Once that's out of the way we'll worry about meetings and things like that," he said.

"If Ben decided he wanted to go up to Brisbane today or tomorrow or on the weekend that's up to him, but at the moment no decision's been made on whether he's going to go up there and meet with them just yet."

He said the "circus" of speculation over Cousins' future would continue beyond the commission meeting, as he still needed to name his club, which draft he would enter and even confirm he definitely planned to play again.

"All he's done is apply to be eligible to enter the draft, he might decide not to," Nixon said.

"Most people would be sitting there thinking of course he will, but who knows? It's up to him.

"If he wants to then nominate for the draft, he'll have to do that, the national draft's on November 29 and the pre-season draft, for uncontracted players, is on December 16.

"Ben actually can by-pass the national draft, that will be his choice, and that will come down to whichever clubs are interested in him, what tactics they want to employ to try to get him."

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