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Demons minus Petterd for rest of 2010

04/05/2010 03:46:24 PM Comments (0)

Melbourne might have lost forward Ricky Petterd for the rest of the AFL season, but coach Dean Bailey isn't ready to call on top draft pick Jack Watts as his replacement.

Petterd could be sidelined for up to four months because a dislocated right shoulder he suffered in last Saturday's loss to North Melbourne at Etihad Stadium.

His loss, and the absence of Liam Jurrah, means the Demons must find another target in attack.

But Bailey on Tuesday poured cold water over the idea of Watts returning to play the Western Bulldogs on Friday night at the MCG.

Bailey said the No.1 draft pick from 2008 still needed to show more in the VFL before he added to the three AFL games he played in last year's debut season.

"Jack's probably got to get two or three good games into him and he's got to get a continuity of training into him," Bailey said.

"His last two weeks have been OK, Jack, but he's still developing and finding his feet, but he's improving."

Petterd, 21, was just emerging as a livewire in attack having kicked 12 goals in the first six rounds, but now must undergo surgery after he suffered cartilage damage when he dislocated his shoulder in a marking contest.

Bailey said Melbourne had to conjure goals across the board to replace Petterd and Jurrah, who is still two months away from a return after he hurt a shoulder during the pre-season.

"We've got a few out, the guys who are out are almost a side within a side," Bailey said.

"It gets down to how quickly we can move the ball.

"How effective we can kick inside 50 is going to be a real telling point for us.

"We've manufactured goals in the last two or three weeks, guys like (Brad) Green and Matthew Bate have now got an opportunity to be a regular goal kicker.

"But we're going to have to look for a spread rather than just one player, I would think."

Friday night's game is Melbourne's only one in the prime timeslot this season, and Bailey said the Demons needed to avenge their loss to North, which broke their three-game winning run.

"There's no better time than at the MCG Friday night with a huge audience watching us and under the microscope again, which is good for our young group of players," he said.

Bailey and Bulldogs counterpart Rodney Eade donned pink ponchos on Tuesday to promote the Field of Women initiative, to be held before the game when thousands of people assemble on the MCG to form the outline of a woman to raise breast cancer awareness.

The Breast Cancer Network Australia hopes to have 14,000 people involved, a figure that represents the number of people diagnosed with breast cancer every year in Australia.

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