Eagles play it cool with Kerr - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Eagles play it cool with Kerr

By Justin Chadwick 27/07/2011 06:24:58 PM Comments (0)

West Coast coach John Worsfold hopes Daniel Kerr's recent stint on the sidelines will leave him in tip-top shape for the business end of the AFL season.

Kerr has missed the past two games due to a series of sore spots around his glute and hip, with the pain relating to the serious surgery he had done on his hamstring last year.

The 28-year-old had been in scintillating form before the recent setback, re-establishing himself as West Coast's best midfielder as he averaged 23.7 possessions over his 11 games.

With the Eagles all but assured of playing finals football this year and even a chance of sneaking into the top-four, Worsfold said it was imperative for Kerr to fix up any ailments before returning to the side.

"(This has been) more about getting him right so that he doesn't come in, get sore, miss more games, miss another week, be in doubt," Worsfold said on Wednesday.

"We're trying to get him where he's resilient and ready to play out the season."

Despite Kerr now back at close to full fitness, Worsfold wasn't ready to declare his star charge a certain starter for Saturday's clash with the Western Bulldogs at Etihad Stadium.

"Last week my feeling was they weren't going to declare him fit, and I think I said that in the press conference that he was less than 50-50," Worsfold said.

"This week I would say he's getting close to being fully fit and then it's a matter for the medical staff to say (whether) he has ticked all the boxes to say there's no risk taking him into the game.

"We don't want to have any setbacks with him. That will be the medical call.

"Whatever he did last week, he's done more at a higher intensity again this week."

Although Kerr remains the major concern for the Eagles, the Bulldogs have more than a handful of players to worry about.

Brownlow medallist Adam Cooney and Shaun Higgins won't play against the Eagles due to knee worries, Dale Morris (groin) is just a 50-50 chance and Nathan Djerrkura (Achilles tendon) is unlikely to get up.

Veteran forward Barry Hall didn't train because of illness but is expected to play, while Robert Murphy will have to prove he has overcome a groin strain before he is given the green light.

West Coast humiliated the Bulldogs to the tune of 123 points when the teams met in Perth in round nine, but Worsfold refused to be drawn on the significance of that win heading into the re-match.

"I couldn't answer that directly other than saying the Bulldogs are still a very talented side and it will be a real tough challenge for us at Etihad this week," Worsfold said.

The Eagles sit just two points behind fourth-placed Carlton, while the Bulldogs will be aiming to keep their season alive after drifting six points behind eighth-placed St Kilda.

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