Cooney unlikely to play again in 2010 - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Cooney unlikely to play again in 2010

23/08/2010 08:09:35 PM Comments (0)

The Western Bulldogs will literally limp into the AFL finals with Adam Cooney's season over, veteran Brad Johnson's on a knife-edge, and underrated defender Dale Morris also on a growing injury list.

Cooney has almost certainly played his last game of the season due to a severe hamstring injury.

The club announced on Monday the Brownlow Medallist is expected to miss the next five to six weeks after his injury in the opening five minutes of Bulldogs' heavy loss to Sydney at the SCG on Saturday.

To compound the Dogs' problems, the club's heart and soul Johnson has re-injured his Achilles tendon and will miss at least a fortnight.

The 34-year-old has had what is expected to be his final season punctuated by injury problems and must surely be in grave doubt of playing any role in the finals.

Morris has a shoulder injury and faces at least two weeks on the sidelines, meaning he would also miss the Bulldogs' first final.

All three join important midfielder Shaun Higgins, who has a calf injury and a thyroid problem, and youngster Easton Wood (hamstring) in the Dogs' burgeoning casualty ward.

After winning five successive matches, the fourth-placed Bulldogs have now suffered two losses in a row and are staring down the barrel of "straight-sets" finals elimination with a weakened side.

General manager of football James Fantasia said despite the injuries, the Bulldogs were confident they could still achieve success in 2010.

"To lose a player of Adam's quality this close to the finals is obviously disappointing," he said.

"At this stage the best-case scenario is that Adam will return late in September and while this is unlikely, we have not written off Adam's season yet."

He said skipper Johnson had re-aggravated his Achilles injury but believed he would be available for week two of the finals, as would Morris.

"We believe our list is in a very strong position when you consider the young players coming through," Fantasia said.

"We have been very pleased with Jarrad Grant's development and I think we have unearthed a terrific prospect there for the future.

"You could put Liam Jones in the same boat as well, he has really taken his opportunity this year and continues to impress at the AFL level."

The Bulldogs take on Essendon in their final home and away match this weekend ahead of the finals.

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