Rocca back from injury for Collingwood - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Rocca back from injury for Collingwood

By Robert Grant 16/04/2009 01:14:24 PM Comments (0)

Collingwood will at last welcome back key forward Anthony Rocca when they take on Brisbane at the Gabba on Friday.

Rocca, who broke his foot last year, will play his first game since round 13 last season.

He is a major boost for a Magpies side which will be missing captain Nick Maxwell and fellow defender Heath Shaw, who are both suspended.

Midfielder Shane O'Bree, who will be playing his 200th game on Friday night, said Rocca would not suffer from a lack of preparation and would provide the Magpies with a valuable morale boost.

"He's done the hard yards since late last year when he hurt himself and his rehab work's been sensational to get himself to where he is now," O'Bree said.

"It's the best I've seen him on the training track so hopefully on game day he puts it in and goes through unscathed.

"I don't think he's had too limited a preparation. You can't expect too much from Anthony ... because of his big frame all you can ask is that he makes a contest to help our small forwards down there."

O'Bree said Rocca provided vital experience as well as firepower.

"We've got John Anthony down forward and Travis Cloke, they're still only young guys, they're both under 21.

"With Anthony's experience to lead those guys - they've probably been chucked in the deep end a little bit and they've carried themselves pretty well - it's great for them to have him around to teach them a few tricks of the trade."

O'Bree said that with the Magpies struggling at 1-2 "every game we play from now on is a huge game", but denied a loss would be terminal for their final eight hopes.

"The morale is really good. If you looked over the games, the first three games we could have been three and zip so there's no need to get down in the dumps because we're one and two.

"We're not thinking about (the Brisbane game) as a loss but one and three at this stage of the year is not going to be a drama at all," O'Bree said.

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