Magpies mull selections for Demons clash - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Magpies mull selections for Demons clash

03/04/2009 08:52:43 PM Comments (0)

Collingwood's Anthony Rocca might make an unlikely comeback in a wet AFL match against Melbourne, but Scott Pendlebury is definitely a concern for the Magpies.

Pendlebury missed Friday's training session a day before the MCG match and coach Mick Malthouse will only say the top midfielder has soreness.

Rocca, by contrast, trained well and Malthouse later talked up the prospect of making a late application to the AFL to include him as an emergency.

Collingwood did not pick him in their team or name him as an emergency and they could also bring him into the side without AFL permission, incurring a $5000 fine.

Rocca only resumed from injury last weekend in a sub-VFL standard practice match.

The conditions will also most likely be wet on Saturday, so the key forward will probably not return immediately in the seniors.

But Malthouse is never averse to giving the opposition something extra to consider the day before a game.

"Anthony is fully-fit ... we have selection on a Thursday night, we don't train until today," Malthouse said.

"He's trained very well, but I'm not prepared to comment too much on our final 22, other than to say what's been in the paper and what's been selected at this stage."

Pendlebury's absence at training on Friday appears the bigger problem for the Magpies on the eve of a game they should win.

"If people are sore, people are sore - you've got to make sure they're 100 per cent ready to go and we'll weigh that up," Malthouse said.

Collingwood have recalled Brad Dick, Leigh Brown and Heath Shaw for Tyson Goldsack, Chris Bryan and Ben Reid, with Goldsack, Dayne Beams and Anthony Corrie the emergencies at this stage.

Malthouse is a big wrap for Dick, who needed a knee reconstruction early last year, and is looking for to having the speedy 20-year-old back in the side.

"I really thought he was the missing link (for Collingwood) last year, he's got so many parts about him that I really love," Malthouse said.

"He's a hard tackler, he's quick, he sees the game the way you'd want people to see the game, he has terrific stamina.

"Decision makers like him don't come along all that often, so we're pretty keen to get him in as soon as we can."

Malthouse is also wary of the Demons, who pushed North Melbourne last weekend.

Collingwood looked ready to break away from Adelaide last weekend, but eventually suffered an upset four-point loss.

"We must be very, very careful, it's the unknowns that sometimes come to bite people," Malthouse said of Melbourne's young players.

"We know we're up against a very formidable opponent, albeit very young."

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