Eagles' Kerr only 50-50 for Magpies clash - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Eagles' Kerr only 50-50 for Magpies clash

Justin Chadwick 04/09/2011 04:08:00 PM Comments (0)

Star West Coast midfielder Daniel Kerr faces a race against time to prove his fitness for Saturday's AFL qualifying final against Collingwood at the MCG, rating himself only a 50-50 chance.

Kerr, one of the Eagles' most explosive and important midfielders, hasn't played since injuring his back in a crunching hit by Essendon's Nathan Lovett-Murray two weeks ago.

The 2007 All-Australian is still feeling stiffness in his back and Eagles coach John Worsfold conceded the injury had dragged on longer than expected.

"It's very stiff and sore and he's had this type of injury before and played within a week, but this time the stiffness hasn't gone out," Worsfold said.

"Daniel overcomes a lot, he pushes up and plays with a lot of issues and soreness ... he has throughout his whole career.

"So I've got no doubt if he thinks he's right to play he'll play even if it means his back is still a bit sore.

"Obviously the medical staff are the key ones that have got to declare him fit to play and not put him at risk.

"He has to think he can play and then the match committee has to decide whether to pick him or not.

"For me, right at this stage, the number one thing is for him to train and prove his fitness to the medical staff."

Defender Ash Smith also faces a nervous wait after complaining of hamstring tightness during West Coast's 95-point win over Adelaide on Saturday night.

Smith was subbed off in the second quarter and will undergo scans to assess the damage.

Fellow defender Will Schofield is expected to return against Collingwood after missing a week with a fractured cheekbone, while midfielder Matt Rosa appears likely to return via the WAFL.

Reigning premiers Collingwood copped a 96-point hiding at the hands of Geelong on Friday night, but Worsfold said he wouldn't read much into the result.

"I've seen it over time where there's games where it's hard to explain why things happen and what I've also seen is that you judge on what you know the norm is and (Friday) night wasn't the norm," Worsfold said.

"We won't be putting too much emphasis on that at all. We're looking forward to the challenge of playing the best team in the competition next week."

The Magpies will be without suspended midfielder Dale Thomas against the Eagles, while Leon Davis (hamstring) and Chris Tarrant (ankle) face fitness tests.

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