Coach confident of Cooney return - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Coach confident of Cooney return

15/04/2009 03:30:46 PM Comments (0)

The Western Bulldogs may be two stars short this weekend, but coach Rodney Eade expects to load up in a fortnight when Adam Cooney and Robert Murphy are slated for AFL returns from knee surgery.

Eade is confident Brownlow Medallist Cooney will recover from minor knee surgery within a week.

And Murphy, who is close to full fitness after more involved surgery on his patella tendon, is expected to make his football return in the Dogs' reserves this weekend ahead of a possible round five recall to the AFL.

While Eade will play wait and see with Murphy, he has pencilled in Cooney as a certain starter for the match against Carlton on Sunday week.

Cooney has already been ruled out of the Dogs' clash with West Coast at Subiaco Oval on Sunday after being sent for clean-up surgery on his troublesome knee.

He complained of soreness during his side's big win over Richmond on Easter Monday, and is believed to have had floating cartilage in the knee.

"There were a couple of pieces that had broken off the last couple of weeks and caused a bit of inflammation after games," Eade said on Wednesday.

"He could have kept on playing but we thought at this stage it was best to go for the operation.

"He'll play round five - should just miss the one week."

Both Cooney and Murphy will come under serious consideration, as Eade has one eye on how a six-day turnaround and an arduous trip west to take on West Coast impacts the following week for the Carlton match.

Eade said this week's team to tackle the Eagles was likely to feature changes, depending on how the players pulled up from the Easter Monday clash.

"Certainly if they haven't recovered leg-wise we wont take them," Eade said.

"At this stage they seem to have recovered well, which is pleasing. The interesting one will be the week after we fly back."

Meanwhile, Bulldogs defender Ryan Hargrave pleaded guilty to negligently making contact with umpire Justin Schmitt during the Richmond match and accepted a fine of $1950.

Had Hargrave challenged the report at the AFL Tribunal and lost, he could have received a larger fine.

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