Harley still hoping to start AFL opener - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Harley still hoping to start AFL opener

13/02/2009 07:23:48 PM Comments (0)

Geelong remain hopeful that injured skipper Tom Harley will recover from a knee injury in time for the opening round of the AFL season.

Harley was one of a number of stars including Steve Johnson, Cameron Mooney and David Wojcinski who sat out Friday's intra-club match at Skilled Stadium.

Harley is recovering after undergoing knee surgery in October following the Cats' grand final loss to Hawthorn.

It was believed he could miss the first month of the AFL season after pulling up sore last week, with the Cats since reducing the intensity of his training.

However assistant coach Brendan McCartney said while the skipper would definitely watch next Saturday's NAB Cup clash against Adelaide at the Telstra Dome from the sidelines, he could return in time for the opening-round clash with the premiers on March 27.

"Tom Harley may or may not be ready for round one," he said.

"It was reported this week it may be longer but he's a day by day proposition."

McCartney said the other big guns were rested from the practice match for varying reasons and couldn't predict when they would make their first competitive appearance.

"They'll only play if they're right," he said.

"Some didn't play because we decided not to play them and others are following a plan to be ready for the season proper, knowing that it's a long season ahead."

The Cats plan to include a number of new faces in the pre-season competition.

Simon Hogan, Dan McKenna and Scott Simpson are all set for a start, according to McCartney.

"You'll definitely see some new faces next week."

Played over four 20-minute quarters, the squad came through Friday's low-intensity affair without any additional injury concerns.

"We liked what we saw," McCartney said.

"We certainly liked that they tried to move the footy around.

"We mis-used it a little but at times that was first game roughness."

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