West Coast welcome back pair from injury - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

West Coast welcome back pair from injury

By Justin Chadwick 26/02/2009 03:03:03 PM Comments (0)

West Coast youngster Mitch Brown will put a year of frustrating rehabilitation behind him when he steps out in Friday night's pre-season clash with Adelaide in Alice Springs.

Brown, whose twin brother Nathan plays for Collingwood, notched five games in his debut season of 2007 and was on track to hold down a key position last year.

But the 20-year-old's 2008 campaign was left in tatters when he ruptured his anterior cruciate ligament during a pre-season game in Albany.

"He's a great young kid who's put in an enormous amount of work," Eagles coach John Worsfold said.

"He's excited to be back out playing with the guys and our hopes are he gets through and enjoys the hit-out and will grow from there.

"He's still a very young man with an exciting career ahead of him.

"He's a fairly imposing figure and he's in great physical shape.

"I think he's got the ability to play at both ends, and with only five or six games under his belt there's no rush to say he's going to settle into one area at this stage.

"We are keen to see him in both positions (up forward and down back) and assess him."

Injury-plagued midfielder Sam Butler, who has been rocked by a debilitating groin complaint throughout his career, has been named to take on the Crows after overcoming a hernia operation during the summer.

Worsfold said Butler, who has notched just five AFL games since featuring in West Coast's 2006 premiership team, would play about 70 per cent of the game.

"It's been an ongoing program," Worsfold said of the 23-year-old's progress.

"It's been a long-term thing with Sam not to rush him, not to stress him out too much."

But while Brown and Butler have overcome their respective injuries, utility Beau Waters has only just started his recovery following a second round of surgery on his troublesome elbow, which he first dislocated while playing for WAFL side Claremont last June.

The 22-year-old could spend up to three months in a brace and may not return in Eagles colours until deep into the season.

"All I know is the surgery went really well," Worsfold said.

"He's got 8-12 weeks in a brace and then we'll just slowly work him back."

The Eagles named a strong squad to take on Adelaide, with only Waters, Adam Hunter (shoulder), Matt Rosa (ankle), Andrew Embley (knee) and Brad Ebert (groin) missing from their best 22.

Adelaide named superstar Andrew McLeod but enter the match without the likes of Nathan van Berlo, Brett Burton (knee), Kurt Tippett (knee), Ben Rutten (knee) and Jason Porplyzia (shoulder).

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