West Coast pair pray for lucky break - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

West Coast pair pray for lucky break

Justin Chadwick 14/05/2011 01:01:47 PM Comments (0)

West Coast defender Sam Butler can't help but have a chuckle when he thinks about the frustrating injury curse that has struck both him and good friend Beau Waters.

Indeed, many of their AFL teammates find it hard to believe just how unlucky the pair have been in their quest to consistently play together.

Waters and Butler formed a strong bond after being drafted to the Eagles from their hometown of Adelaide back in 2003, even sharing a house together in the early years before settling down with their respective partners.

But their dreams of forging long careers playing side-by-side have so far been frustrated by a horror run of injuries, which have included groin, knee, hamstring, hernia, ankle, elbow, facial and quad setbacks.

Although Waters and Butler have notched 154 games between them in careers spanning the exact same period, they have played together just 23 times.

And since helping West Coast claim premiership success in 2006, the duo have played in the same side just five times at an average of once a year.

"You've cottoned on to the curse," Butler said with a laugh when the topic was raised.

"It's a running joke around here.

"We thought about it five years ago and it seems to have just gotten worse and worse. It's getting beyond a joke.

"This year he had a knee injury for about three weeks of the pre-season and the day he came back to training I tore my quad.

"Then when I came back from my quad he did his elbow against Port and I played the next week.

"It's out of control. The footy gods don't let us play.

"I'm trying to get him a trade somewhere else so at least we can play footy every week."

Waters is expected to be sidelined for at least nine more weeks as he recovers from an elbow dislocation suffered in round two.

But Butler will be in the thick of the action on Sunday as West Coast (3-3) attempts to break a seven-game western derby losing streak against arch rivals Fremantle (4-2) at Patersons Stadium.

"It's border-line embarrassing at the moment," Butler said of the losing run.

"They're probably thinking that they own us.

"But we're playing this year like we're the hunters and we don't think they own us."

Fremantle named forward Hayden Ballantyne despite doubts remaining over his injured hamstring, while former Collingwood forward Jack Anthony will make his Dockers debut after surviving the cut.

Ryan Crowley and Jesse Crichton were handed recalls, but the axe fell on Rhys Palmer, Dylan Roberton and Jayden Pitt.

West Coast recalled Chris Masten and Patrick McGinnity at the expense of Gerrick Weedon and Brad Sheppard.

Butler is contracted until the end of next season and said he was grateful for West Coast's unwavering support during his injury struggles.

"I've played 70-odd games and this is my eighth year. It's a terrible record," the talented 25-year-old said.

"It's been hard to take but I'm in the side at the moment so all you can do is live in the now."

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