Dogs' injured limp back - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Dogs' injured limp back

Robert Grant 12/02/2011 05:39:20 PM Comments (0)

The Western Bulldogs have their fingers crossed that star midfielder Robert Murphy will be fit before the end of the AFL pre-season competition.

Bulldogs coach Rodney Eade said on Saturday Murphy had suffered an ankle injury recently and would be sidelined for at least the first round of the NAB Cup.

"He had a bit of an ankle twinge a couple of weeks ago and he's been training but hasn't improved that much," Eade said.

"He had cortisone yesterday just to get on top of it early so he'll probably miss next week and be right for NAB two."

Brownlow medallist Adam Cooney will return shortly from knee surgery, defender Brian Lake is recovering from shoulder, knee and hip surgery and Ryan Hargrave is out for the early part of the year after foot surgery.

"Hargrave won't be right till May, Coons will probably be right for NAB (round) three."

Eade said Lake, who is dropping weight to try to ease the pressure on his knees and prolong his career, should return by the last round of the Cup.

"We're hopeful that he'll play NAB four. Indications are that he's progressing very quickly.

"He ran well again today and he's got the clearance from his shoulder a week ago to do weights so he'll put his size and strength on pretty quickly.

"We're confident with no hiccups, he'll be okay."

The Bulldogs played an intraclub match on Saturday at the Whitten Oval which Eade described as "scrappy" due to the windy conditions.

"I was pleased, not so much about the style of play as such - I think the intent was there - but it was more about individuals getting a kick," he said.

He said that in the long term ex-Sydney midfielder Patrick Veszpremi, who played just 11 games for the Swans during an injury-hit three seasons, had the potential to hold down a permanent spot in the side.

"He was a little bit up and down today.

"It was a difficult day for forwards but it was the more experienced players who were able to adapt to conditions - Barry (Hall), Gia (Daniel Giansiracusa) and a few other guys.

"Patty I thought showed some signs at times. He just has to get used to our style and the way we play.

"I think he's got enough skill set to cement a spot," Eade said.

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