Brian Lake out of Bulldogs line-up again - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Brian Lake out of Bulldogs line-up again

By Guy Hand 09/06/2011 05:10:20 PM Comments (0)

For struggling Western Bulldogs defender Brian Lake, it's a case of go to woe.

Lake's stop-start AFL season juddered to a halt again as he was left out of the Bulldogs side to play St Kilda at Etihad Stadium on Friday night.

Lake did not train with the Bulldogs on Thursday and won't play at all this weekend.

Bulldogs coach Rodney Eade says the 29-year-old's knee problem which has dogged him through a season of woe continues to be a concern, coupled now with a groin injury.

Much of the problem appears Lake's hesitance to trust his body not to fail him, and Eade says only the player himself can fix it.

"He's not playing at all this weekend. Obviously his confidence in his knee's an issue," Eade said.

"Brian's just struggling for confidence in his body ... it's not my confidence in his body, it's Brian's confidence in his body.

"It's up to him to overcome that obstacle."

Lake had played just two games since his last injury layoff, and was a virtual cardboard cutout of the feared defender who has been All-Australian for the previous two years.

He has played just five AFL matches this season - his slide coinciding with the Dogs' abysmal run of defeats in six of their past seven matches.

Team-mate Dale Morris launched a spirited defence of Lake, saying he had done all he could to overcome his injury issues.

"What he's been through in the off-season with his three operations - I think people underestimate how big those operations were," Morris said.

"He's probably come back earlier than most players would from those operations because of his importance to the team.

"He's been doing everything that he can and he's got the support of the players behind him.

"He's been doing the extra things that he can within his limitations when he was going through the rehab because he had a shoulder, hip and knee (operation)."

Morris said Lake's form and confidence slump were temporary, and he still had the support of his team-mates.

"We remind him to stay upbeat, stay positive and it's no different to anyone else," Morris said.

"I lose contests, Tom Williams loses contests, Murph (Robert Murphy), everyone. We all get around each other, say `don't drop your head', next contest let's butter up.

"He'll come good."

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