Bulldogs to drop Lake for Swans AFL clash - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Bulldogs to drop Lake for Swans AFL clash

Sam Lienert 04/05/2011 03:30:37 PM Comments (0)

The Western Bulldogs will drop two-time all-Australian defender Brian Lake this week for the first time in eight years.

Assistant coach Brett Montgomery said Lake, who returned to the AFL side in round three after off-season knee, hip and shoulder surgery, had struggled for form and fitness.

He will miss Saturday's clash with Sydney in Canberra, with the hope his first VFL game since 2003 will help him rediscover confidence in his body and his game.

"It's not speculation. Brian will go back to the VFL for form and fitness," Montgomery told reporters on Wednesday.

"We've sat down with Brian and devised a plan that's best for him and the club to get him into that form and also get some confidence up for where his body's at.

"He's coming off some significant injuries. He probably came back a little bit too early but that's what you do when you've got quality players to bring in, you want to get him in as early as you can.

"It just didn't work too well for him or us."

Lake was the Dogs' best and fairest in 2007 and the all-Australian fullback for the past two seasons, earning a reputation as the competition's best tall defender.

But his stocks have sunk to the extent that in Sunday's loss to Collingwood, Lake was not assigned to either of the Magpies' two best tall forwards, Travis Cloke or Chris Dawes.

Coach Rodney Eade said earlier this week Lake's decision to zone off opponent Leigh Brown, against team instructions, cost the side several goals.

The Dogs expect to regain No.1 ruckman Ben Hudson and forward Daniel Giansiracusa from injury.

But Barry Hall (ankle) and Shaun Higgins (groin) remain sidelined.

Hudson's return will most likely come at the expense of youngster Jordan Roughead, with Montgomery saying the coaching staff were happy with Will Minson's game against Collingwood.

He ruled out playing all three ruckmen.

Defender Ryan Hargrave, yet to play this year because of a serious foot injury, is expected to join Lake in the VFL.

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