Tigers confirm Cousins' second coming - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Tigers confirm Cousins' second coming

08/05/2009 07:19:08 PM Comments (0)

Ben Cousins' second coming at Richmond has been confirmed, but don't expect miracles just yet.

That was the message from Tigers coach Terry Wallace as he declared Cousins "100 per cent and fighting fit" to return to AFL action against Brisbane at the MCG on Saturday.

Cousins trained for only part of a short session on Friday, doing some light running before leaving the field to consult with club medical staff.

The Tigers' much-vaunted signing has played just once for his new side in the home and away season - his troublesome hamstring giving way during their heavy round one loss to Carlton in March.

The 30-year-old starred in a reserves hitout last weekend to earn a call-up for the Tigers' clash with Brisbane.

Wallace insisted the serial soft-tissue sufferer was not being rushed into the side despite just one game at reserves level.

But he cautioned that Cousins' much-hyped comeback remained a work-in-progress.

"AFL level's another step up, isn't it? He's only had one game in 18 months at that elite level," Wallace said on Friday.

"Everyone would know that he'll be better in three or four weeks time than where he'll be on Saturday, because that's just the nature of playing games and getting back up and running.

"But he's right to go. From a pure fitness point-of-view there's no issues with him whatsoever - but footy fitness is another area."

Cousins' comeback will also put the spotlight on Richmond's much-maligned medical staff - already under fire for the initial injury to Cousins and star forward Matthew Richardson.

Both players were sent back on to the field after appearing in pain, though Cousins and Richardson have both said their initial concerns were unrelated to the long-term hamstring injuries they sustained.

The Tigers are considering sending Richardson to Germany for treatment on his hamstring problem, which could sideline him for the rest of the season.

The club followed a similar path treating midfielder Mark Coughlan for soft tissue problems, while Geelong also successfully experimented with the same technique for defender Max Rooke.

"Surely there's something in some of the professionalism they're doing across there," Wallace said.

"We'll investigate everything to try to get him (Richardson) back as quickly as possible ... but more so to make sure that he comes back at 100 per cent so it gives him every opportunity to make decisions on his future.

"The club will have a look at every opportunity out there and if Germany's the way that we go, that's the way we go."

Cousins, forward Nathan Brown and ruckman Troy Simmonds have all been recalled for the match against Brisbane.

Richmond have won just once this season, while the Lions have a 3-3 win-loss record and are coming off a solid victory over Essendon at the Gabba last weekend.

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