Hird to inspire Kerr's comeback - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Hird to inspire Kerr's comeback

By Justin Chadwick 30/06/2010 03:16:00 PM Comments (0)

West Coast coach John Worsfold has not given up hope injury-plagued midfielder Daniel Kerr can return to his blistering best - but fans may have to wait until the 2011 AFL season before seeing the 27-year-old in action again.

Kerr, who tore his hamstring in round four, is recovering slower than expected from the injury and isn't expected to feature again in AFL ranks this season.

Kerr has been riddled by injuries over the past four seasons, playing just 26 games since the start of 2008.

But Worsfold likened his star charge to former Essendon champion James Hird, who overcame stress fractures in his foot and a serious facial injury to play some of his best football in his twilight years.

"We saw James Hird go through it for a big period of his career and he came back and finished his career really strongly so there's no reason Daniel can't get back and play some great footy for the club again," Worsfold said on Wednesday.

"Whether that means he plays over a two or three or four year period, we can't predict.

"But there's no doubt he can overcome this poor period of time and bounce back.

"Our view is to follow the program and try to get him where he's back in some training by at least the end of the season so we at least know where he's at."

In a rare dose of good news for the 15th-placed Eagles, midfielder Chris Masten is almost certain to return for Saturday's Etihad Stadium clash with Collingwood after overcoming a knee injury.

Masten last appeared for the Eagles in round six but starred in the WAFL last week with 38 possessions.

The return of Masten and Adam Selwood (shoulder) is a massive boost for the struggling Eagles, but defender Shannon Hurn will miss with a calf complaint.

And out-of-favour West Coast forward Ashley Hansen is almost certain to miss the remainder of the AFL season with a hip injury.

Hansen played in rounds three and four for the Eagles before being demoted to the WAFL, where he starred with 31 goals in his next five matches.

However, the 27-year-old, who is contracted until the end of 2011, will now be sidelined for about six weeks, all but ruling out a return to senior ranks this season.

"The injury in his hip from what I can gather is a nasty one for them to overcome so it needs a period of rest to get the tendonitis out and then we'll build him up and see how he goes," Worsfold said.

Worsfold defended Dean Cox's poor outing against the Western Bulldogs in round 13, claiming the four-times All-Australian ruckman was "sore" that match.

"There's no doubt he didn't have the strength in his ruck contests," Worsfold said.

"But we're hopeful he's recovered from that. Prior to that his form was good, very solid.

"I think it was just general soreness.

"He got sore in the lead-up to that game.

"He'd been a bit crook so that didn't help him, but he's over all that."

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