Lions, Hawks poised to boost backlines - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Lions, Hawks poised to boost backlines

By Adam Cooper 15/06/2009 08:55:09 PM Comments (0)

The Brisbane Lions and Hawthorn are set to have their backlines significantly bolstered when they return from the AFL mid-season break.

The Lions could regain Daniel Merrett (ankle), Joel Patfull (jaw) and Josh Drummond (calf) to play bottom side Melbourne at the Gabba on June 27, which will come as sweet news after Michael Voss' side beat the reigning premiers on Sunday.

But the Hawks' injury strains are also set to be eased over the next two weeks, as Stephen Gilham (knee) and Rick Ladson (foot) have been declared available and will be considered for the June 27 clash with the West Coast.

Gilham has played just one game this season, while Ladson is still perched on 99 career games, as he has not played this season.

In a further boost, the Hawks are hopeful key defender Trent Croad can resume full training soon after the break in his bid to return from the foot troubles that have plagued him since last year's grand final.

Essendon also expect to have their defence strengthened, as fullback Dustin Fletcher is expected to play the Demons on Friday night, after missing the past five games because of a break in his lower leg suffered against the Lions in round six.

But the Bombers have ruled a line through the name of ruckman Jason Laycock, whose foot problems will prevent him from playing at all in 2009.

Collingwood could strengthen their forward line for Saturday night's game against Sydney, after Paul Medhurst and Anthony Rocca got through their comeback games in the VFL on the weekend.

Medhurst, an All-Australian last year, has not played since he injured his ankle against North Melbourne in round six, while Rocca has missed the past four games because of foot and ankle problems.

Port Adelaide forward Daniel Motlop will undergo scans on Tuesday to determine the severity of an ankle injury that flared in Saturday night's defeat by the Western Bulldogs.

Motlop missed games in rounds 10 and 11 because of the complaint.

The Lions are still waiting to learn how long tagger Troy Selwood will be sidelined after he dislocated his shoulder in the first quarter at Launceston.

Selwood could be out for one or two games if there is little damage to the joint, but up to five games if the injury is more serious.

North Melbourne confirmed on Monday young gun Jack Ziebell had fractured the fibula in his right leg during Sunday's loss to Adelaide.

Ziebell will miss at least the next six games, but might not play again this season.

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