Magpies won't rule out Pendlebury return - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Magpies won't rule out Pendlebury return

By Guy Hand 14/09/2009 06:20:19 PM Comments (0)

Collingwood's players insist Scott Pendlebury's miraculous powers of healing can help him overcome a broken leg within 13 days and play in an AFL preliminary final.

The skilled onballer cracked a bone in his leg in the qualifying final against St Kilda and had surgery immediately afterwards to insert a plate in his fibula.

But Pendlebury's teammates are convinced the midfielder is well in the frame to battle Geelong's silky midfield at the MCG on Saturday night, as are ruckman Josh Fraser (knee) and midfielder Dayne Beams (calf).

"Scott Pendlebury is a big chance. A big chance. So's Josh Fraser and Beams as well," defender Ben Johnson told AAP.

"I was actually surprised how well Scott's come up. He's been running, he'd be almost ready to go.

"He's been doing work on his own but he'll hopefully train with us this week."

Pendlebury has already managed one miracle comeback this season, appearing to seriously injure his knee in round 12 against Sydney but missing just one week.

Pies midfielders Shane O'Bree and Dale Thomas said the key for Pendlebury, Fraser and Beams was being able to train with the rest of their teammates in the club's main training session on Wednesday.

"All three of them are doing light work, so they're giving themselves every chance," O'Bree said.

"Wednesday's our main training session, so hopefully they get through that and then it's just a matter of how they recover."

Geelong are banking on their own injury miracle, with growing optimism forward Steve Johnson will recover from hip surgery to bring his sorely-missed magic around goal back for the Cats.

Johnson was back training with his teammates on Monday in the hope of playing some role in Geelong's premiership quest despite having a hip operation three weeks ago.

Thomas said he hoped Johnson would play, and Collingwood would not necessarily amend their game plan to accommodate the prospect.

"He's a fantastic player and hopefully he is out there because it would be a fantastic spectacle for everyone who comes along," Thomas said.

"We won't go into the game any differently whether he plays or not - time will tell if he does.

"But it probably won't make a whole heap of difference to how we go about it."

The Cats are also hopeful of regaining utility Max Rooke, who missed the qualifying final win over the Western Bulldogs because of a quadriceps injury.

The Bulldogs play St Kilda in the other preliminary final, on Friday night, confident midfielder Ryan Griffen will recover from a calf problem sustained last weekend.

"There were reports Ryan Griffen had a cork in his calf but he's fine," Bulldogs skipper Brad Johnson said.

"He's been running around and doing bits of training, so we will go in with no worries this weekend."

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