Koschitzke in doubt for Pies clash - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Koschitzke in doubt for Pies clash

By Darren Cartwright 11/07/2010 03:03:34 PM Comments (0)

St Kilda playmaker Brendon Goddard will return but key forward Justin Koschitzke remains in doubt for Saturday's AFL clash with Collingwood at the MCG.

Saints coach Ross Lyon says he will not deviate from the club's conservative approach of assessing when a player is ready to return after injury.

Goddard (virus) and Koschitzke (ankle) were late withdrawals from Saturday night's 14-point win over a gallant Brisbane side at the Gabba.

"We'll have to assess (Koschitzke)," Lyon said.

"We've been really conservative with our injuries and we don't want people hobbling back.

The Saints delayed skipper Nick Riewoldt's return from an 11-week absence because of a serious hamstring injury by a week and they were just as conservative with his playing time against the Lions on Saturday night.

Riewoldt improved as the game unfolded and his last quarter goal from just inside 50m was a strong indicator that he at least has shed mental concerns about his hamstring being suspect.

Lyon said Riewoldt could have had more game time against the Lions but cramped towards the end of match.

"I thought he was significant at the end, that clutch goal was a real captain's goal, and he started to play with more movement and presence," Lyon said.

"Once the game started, all we did was manage his minutes.

"We knew he was really well conditioned, and certainly all risk isn't alleviated going forward, but I think it puts everyone more at ease.

"He played over 80 minutes he probably played 15 minutes less than what he could have, we were a bit conservative."

A number of players from both teams are expected to be fined for wrestling following an all-in melee at three quarter-time in which Riewoldt was the centre of attention.

Riewoldt appeared after the final break with what appeared to scratch marks around the back of his neck.

"I think (with) what happened at three-quarter time, the melee or the brawl, emotions were high and he was clearly being targeted," Lyon said.

"But that's alright, he's a champion and he can respond, to go back and kick the goal gave us a real team lift.

"Probably the message is, don't unsettle champions."

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