Buckley trains in bid for AFL comeback - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Buckley trains in bid for AFL comeback

06/08/2007 07:20:02 PM Comments (0)

Collingwood captain Nathan Buckley is "one day closer" to ending his frustrating AFL absence, training strongly on Monday.

But the Western Bulldogs will be cautious this week as their skipper Brad Johnson tries to overcome hamstring tightness.

Buckley is yet to play this season after a succession of hamstring injuries, raising speculation his AFL career might be over.

He appeared to pull up well from training and told the Nine Network it had put him "one day closer" to a comeback.

Buckley wants to resume for Collingwood's AFL affiliate Williamstown in their away match on Sunday against Bendigo.

It is now a question of how Buckley pulls up from Monday's session and then his training form over the rest of the week.

A fit Buckley would be an important boost for Collingwood ahead of the finals.

Meanwhile, the Bulldogs will be once bitten, twice shy as they assess whether Johnson plays in Saturday night's Telstra Dome match against lowly Melbourne.

He suffered hamstring tightness late in Friday night's draw with St Kilda.

Scans have cleared him of muscle damage, but the `Dogs lost Chris Grant for three matches last month with a similar hamstring problem.

They will now be more conservative with how they handle Johnson.

"The scan hasn't shown anything is wrong, but we're going to be very careful - he's so valuable to us," said football manager Matthew Drain.

The Bulldogs would prefer Johnson plays against the Demons, even though they will start strong favourites and could consider resting him.

They are in strong finals contention and Drain pointed out Johnson is on track to play his 300th match in the round 22 game against the Kangaroos.

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