Cats win soured by injuries to big three - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Cats win soured by injuries to big three

By Adam Cooper 31/05/2009 08:19:23 PM Comments (0)

Geelong's 10th AFL win in succession was soured by injuries to their captain, reigning best and fairest and star onballer.

Skipper Tom Harley (hamstring) and midfielder Joel Corey (foot) are likely to be sidelined to the mid-season point, while Brownlow Medal fancy Gary Ablett is likely to be monitored during the week for ankle soreness.

Ablett limped off towards the end of Sunday's 64-point win over Essendon at Etihad Stadium, but Cats coach Mark Thompson was hopeful the injury was nothing serious.

But the injuries to Harley and Corey will deny the Cats two of their more experienced players for Sunday's game against West Coast at Subiaco.

Corey has been troubled by plantar fasciitis, the inflammatory condition that affects the arch of the foot, and withdrew before the game.

"He trained yesterday and it was sore, but it's been sore for a couple of weeks and he just went to run and it was painful so he (decided he) probably shouldn't play," Thompson said.

Harley injured his hamstring in the first quarter of what was his fourth game of the season, having been sidelined for the early part by a knee problem.

Thompson said the latest blow would be frustrating for his veteran defender.

"I'm not sure how bad it is, but he'll certainly miss a couple of weeks with a hamstring," he said.

"He's had a pretty tough time and it usually happens if you don't have a pre-season and you come back and play and it's been a bit of a struggle."

Geelong's fresh injury concerns come on the top of half-forward Paul Chapman (finger) and ruckman Brad Ottens (knee), but small forward Mathew Stokes is a chance to return from suspension to play the Eagles.

Thompson said there was a silver lining to having regulars sidelined as it allowed the Cats to play Shannon Byrnes and first-gamer Nathan Djerrkura, who both impressed against the Bombers.

But key forward Tom Hawkins could struggle to retain his place in coming weeks, as he went goalless despite Geelong's dominance.

Hawkins has booted one goal from his past three games after an encouraging start to the season, and Thompson said he needed to produce more.

"He's got to face up to it, if he's not getting goals and doing what we ask him to do then he is going to play in the VFL," he said.

Essendon also have a fresh injury concern, as young ruckman Tom Bellchambers injured his knee and is awaiting further analysis.

Bellchambers has been spending more time in the ruck, alongside defender Paddy Ryder, because of the absences of senior ruckmen David Hille (knee) and Jason laycock, who has only resumed playing in the VFL after foot problems.

Port Adelaide had lost brilliant forward Daniel Motlop before Sunday's 38-point loss to Collingwood with an ankle injury and they had two more casualties during the second half.

Chad Cornes was forced from the field with a calf muscle injury, putting him out of action for at least a week, and Matt Thomas limped off late in the last quarter.

Key Collingwood players Dale Thomas and Alan Didak successfully returned from injury.

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