Cox keen to soldier on for Eagles - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Cox keen to soldier on for Eagles

By Justin Chadwick 17/03/2009 06:00:47 PM Comments (0)

West Coast coach John Worsfold has declared Dean Cox a certain starter for round one of the AFL season despite the star ruckman still nursing a fractured cheekbone.

Cox suffered the injury during the Eagles' practice match win over Adelaide in Alice Springs on February 27.

Although it was only a minor fracture, West Coast's medical staff decided to err on the side of caution with Cox for the remainder of the pre-season, resting the 204cm ruckman from the final two practice games.

But Worsfold said the four-times All-Australian was in no doubt whatsoever for the club's season opener against Brisbane at the Gabba on March 28.

"It won't (affect him) at all he could have played on the weekend if we wanted him to," Worsfold said.

"We had a medical opinion and it said surgery wasn't required.

"You only operate on people if they need it and he didn't need it, it's such a small, little fracture.

"We were told, when he did it, he could have played out of the game if we wanted, (but) you take a slight risk if you do.

"We elected not to take that risk in that game or the next two, he'd done enough work.

"He'll be ready for round one."

Worsfold said he was confident Adam Hunter (shoulder) and Andrew Embley (knee) would also be right to go against the Lions.

"We are confident we'll have pretty much all of our squad available for round one bar Beau Waters (elbow), Pat McGinnity (broken jaw) and a couple of younger kids," Worsfold said at West Coast's season launch on Tuesday.

"We are expecting all of our senior players will be available."

But Hunter, who underwent a shoulder reconstruction midway through last season, continues to feel pain in the joint, especially when he raises his arms above his head.

"He had some more treatment on Friday which has made a difference," Worsfold said.

"We are fairly hopeful that he'll feel pretty fresh training later this week and declare himself available to play.

"The reports out of our medical meeting yesterday were they were really pleased with how it came up.

"I can't say whether he'll be right to play or not this week and next week but we are hopeful that the improvement he showed over the weekend will continue on."

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