Gilbee, Higgins in doubt for 'Dogs - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Gilbee, Higgins in doubt for 'Dogs

By Sam Lienert 27/05/2009 03:29:20 PM Comments (0)

Western Bulldogs star Lindsay Gilbee rates himself a 60 per cent chance of playing in one of the most important games of the club's AFL season against Sydney on Saturday.

The running defender, who is nursing an injured ankle, and talented young midfielder Shaun Higgins, who is struggling with groin soreness, will both face fitness tests before the team flies out to Canberra on Friday.

Gilbee, who played out last Friday night's match against Geelong with the help of pain-killers after copping the injury early, was unable to train on Wednesday and admitted he was still sore.

"I'm pretty confident I'll get over the line, I'm maybe 60-40 at this stage to play," he said.

The Bulldogs' best kick said he was initially concerned he had sustained a fracture after a tangle of legs with the Cats' Jimmy Bartel.

"It felt like that, it was really sore," he said.

"But we had precautionary scans on the Sunday and it showed all clear, just a bit of bone bruising and ligament damage, stuff like that, but thankfully there was no crack."

Higgins was able to train with the main group on Wednesday, with coach Rodney Eade saying both players will be named on Thursday night to be given the longest chance to prove their fitness.

Eade conceded the possibility of facing the Swans without Gilbee and Higgins, with two other important players Robert Murphy and Ryan Hargrave still on the injured list, was daunting.

The Swans hit top form in blitzing Port Adelaide last round and will have the edge in crowd support despite the match being nominally a `Dogs' home game.

"They've got their best team on the park, they're obviously up and going and they've got some quality players and we know the way that they play," Eade said.

"Their ability to close down teams and put pressure on is first rate.

"We may have another couple of players out as well, so it's a fairly daunting task against a team at full strength and playing well.

"But having said that (we have) belief, there's a bit of confidence in the group."

Gilbee said the Swans deserved to enter the match, which will be his 150th if he plays, as slight favourites.

But he said the Bulldogs had taken confidence from pushing Geelong to within two points and had also shown in three wins over Sydney last year, including a knockout final, that they could hurt them with their run.

"That's one of our advantages that we did have over the times we played them last year, the games that we did get results in our run was evident," Gilbee said.

"But I think Sydney are a vastly improved side from what they were when we did play them last year.

"So it's certainly going to be a tough contest and it's one of the most important games of the year for the club."

Brought to you by AAP AAP © 2023 AAP

0 Comments about this article

Post a comment about this article

Please sign in to leave a comment.
Becoming a member is free and easy, sign up here.

« All sports news