Cox in doubt again for West Coast - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Cox in doubt again for West Coast

By Justin Chadwick 30/06/2009 05:21:43 PM Comments (0)

Quinten Lynch and Nic Naitanui may be forced to lead West Coast's AFL ruck division for a second straight week as Dean Cox battles to overcome a niggling groin complaint.

Cox, who missed last week's 20-point win over Hawthorn with the injury, trained for about 30 minutes on Tuesday morning, taking part in some light kicking drills.

But Eagles coach John Worsfold said he was unsure whether the four-times All-Australian would come up in time for Saturday's clash with Melbourne at the MCG.

"I couldn't say (what his chances are), it might be 80-20, it might be 20-80," Worsfold said.

"I don't know. We'll split it and say 50-50.

"He certainly had scans on it.

"It was a very minor strain and one that we would expect would heal by now.

"He has to prove that he's fit.

"He has to run at a certain speed, be able to jump, be able to kick, and do all that knowing he can get through a game."

Lynch performed admirably leading the ruck in the absence of Cox last week, tallying 26 possessions and 23 hit-outs, while 19-year-old Naitanui chipped in with 14 hit-outs and three match-winning goals.

But the loss of Cox was evident in the stoppage count, which Hawthorn won 52-31.

Worsfold said Adam Hunter was almost certain to miss another week due to his troublesome shoulder but defender Mark Nicoski is a chance to return from a back injury.

The Eagles have been rated $1.70 favourites by TAB Sportsbet to account for Melbourne ($2.05) despite West Coast entering the match on a 17-game losing streak away from home.

"Put it this way, it can't be physical," Worsfold said of his team's travel woes.

"The travel side of it, you have to take into account. But I would expect that it's more mental than the physical side.

"There's basketball teams that struggle to win on the road.

"It's a universal thing that there is a home-court advantage."

In a bid to mix things up and get the Eagles firing away from Subiaco Oval, Worsfold took his charges for a 6.30am beach swim on Monday - this on a day where winds reached 115km/h in Perth.

"I couldn't have asked for a better day," Worsfold quipped.

"I mentioned to them we'd have a swim and I think they were looking at me like 'in the pool'?"

Melbourne sit last on the table with just one win to their name and Worsfold predicted there would be more pain to come for the rebuilding club.

"They are playing a lot of talented, young players and unfortunately that does mean they'll go through some hard times," he said.

"We've been in that boat and we are still in that same sort of boat, so I understand where they're coming from.

"When I listen to Dean Bailey talk, he's clearly focused on where he's heading with the group and it sounds like he's got the support of the club and the fans."

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