Pendlebury, Rocca racing against time - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Pendlebury, Rocca racing against time

By Roger Vaughan 07/09/2009 04:21:35 PM Comments (0)

Collingwood onballer Scott Pendlebury has undergone surgery in a last-ditch bid to play again during this AFL finals series.

Provided the Magpies can win their next two cut-throat finals, Pendlebury's best scenario would be to recover in time for the September 26 grand final.

But the Magpies are in big trouble, losing Pendlebury and possibly Anthony Rocca as well for Saturday night's MCG semi-final against Adelaide.

They will also have only a six-day break, while the Crows will come off an eight-day rest.

Pendlebury suffered the injury early in Sunday's qualifying-final loss to St Kilda and Rocca limped off with an ankle injury late in the game.

"We found out late last night that he did have a crack in his fibula, we've had some surgery on that this morning (and) plated it," Collingwood football manager Geoff Walsh said of Pendlebury.

"The reason we've done that is, I suppose, that while there's life there's hope.

"There's some chance we can get him back playing in a time frame a bit less than normal, so maybe two weeks or a bit beyond he will be able to play - hopefully.

"Our medical advice and the surgeon's advice is that we won't affect him long-term by doing that, which was obviously a major consideration."

Walsh admitted that provided Collingwood can win their next two games, Pendlebury also faces a race against time to play again this season.

"It's a non-weight bearing bone, the fibula, in that regard it's a plus, a positive," Walsh said.

"But everything would have to go right, yes."

While Rocca also is in doubt to play against the Crows, Walsh says he has no beef with their six-day break.

"Footy is footy - you play on six-day, eight-day, seven-day turnarounds," Walsh said.

"Adelaide will say they've earned the right through winning, we lost.

"I don't think we'll lose too much sleep over that."

Rocca limped off after kicking two of Collingwood's seven goals on Sunday and his ankle was noticeably swollen in the change rooms.

It was his first game back since round seven, with ankle trouble also keeping him out of the side.

"Anthony gave his ankle a decent tweak yesterday, he's improved a fair bit today," Walsh said.

"The swelling was up a bit straight after game, it has come down considerably today.

"So it will be a day-by-day situation, but it looks a bit better than last night."

Rocca was far from Collingwood's worst player against the Saints.

"He kicked two goals, he didn't have a lot of possessions, but his effort and ability to contest were terrific," Walsh said.

"He'll get better for the run if he can get up ... I don't think we lost out in that.

"While six days it not ideal for him, he's done it plenty of times before - with the ankle, that exacerbates the situation a little bit."

One factor in Collingwood's favour is their VFL team remains in their finals and is playing well.

"There's no doubt that helps, there are a number of players who have performed well for a few weeks in the VFL," Walsh said.

"Our depth is good at this stage, thankfully."

Walsh added that ruckman Josh Fraser had pulled up well as he continues to cope with a knee problem.

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