Injury leaves Hall on AFL sidelines again - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Injury leaves Hall on AFL sidelines again

Sam Lienert 01/06/2011 05:04:55 PM Comments (0)

Western Bulldogs veteran Barry Hall faces another injury-forced stint on the AFL sidelines, just one match after returning from a five-week break.

The 34-year-old made a dismal return from ankle surgery against Hawthorn on Sunday, with just two disposals and no goals, before being subbed off early in the second half.

Assistant coach Brett Montgomery, in charge of the Dogs' attack, said Hall had damaged the same ankle and was expected to miss Saturday's clash with Geelong at Skilled Stadium.

Hall's absence could stretch for several games, as the Dogs plot a way to ensure he does not further aggravate the injury when he next returns.

"If the ankle doesn't come up quickly, that would suggest that he's going to need more than a couple of days," Montgomery said.

"We've had some intervention already. If he doesn't play this week, we'll have to sit down and formulate a plan, whether it's next week, the week after, we'll have to sit down and get into that."

Montgomery said the Dogs needed Hall fit and back in their attack.

In their six losses this season, they have scored less than 80 points.

Their struggling attack faces a huge challenge against the Cats, who have the competition's top-ranked defence, bolstered this season by the more defensive gameplan implemented by coach Chris Scott.

Montgomery said regular defender Tom Williams, who kicked two goals after being thrown forward last round, was likely to again play in attack.

James Mulligan, a 21-year-old tall defender, will be given an AFL debut.

Experienced backman Ryan Hargrave is likely to come back from a foot injury and fullback Brian Lake will retain his spot, after returning from a VFL stint against the Hawks.

But Lindsay Gilbee, who failed to impress last weekend after being initially dropped then given a late reprieve, could again face the chop.

"We're not certain about that. He was lucky to get a game on the weekend," Montgomery said.

He was also unsure whether midfield star Adam Cooney, who had missed the past two rounds after struggling with knee soreness, was ready to resume, although he trained encouragingly on Wednesday.

"We'd get him in as quick as we can, but we want to be doing him justice and the team justice," Montgomery said.

"It's Wednesday, he needs a day to recover and then we'll weigh it up from there."

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