Kerr out until Grand Final week - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Kerr out until Grand Final week

By Scott Coghlan 22/08/2007 07:28:14 PM Comments (0)

The AFL season of star West Coast midfielder Daniel Kerr is all but over.

Eagles coach John Worsfold confirmed the rover's only chance of playing again in 2007 was if the reigning premiers made it all the way to a third-successive grand final.

Kerr's injury is another untimely blow to the Eagles as they try to snatch second spot and keep their premiership defence on track.

Their powerful midfield is already weakened by lingering injuries to captain Chris Judd and former skipper Ben Cousins.

The 24-year-old ruptured the tendon in the ring finger of his left hand when it was caught in an opponent's jumper during the last quarter of Saturday's win over Richmond.

Although Kerr trained strongly on Monday, he received the bad news from a surgeon that night and went under the knife on Wednesday.

Worsfold said Kerr's injury was very similar to that suffered by Ashley Hansen earlier in the season and would sideline the determined little man for 6-8 weeks.

"I would expect the only chance would be if we were playing in the grand final," he said when asked if the 2005 Brownlow Medal runner-up would play again this season.

"That's the only chance that he will be available to play."

Worsfold said although the initial diagnosis was a ruptured tendon, Kerr had trained on Monday and been hopeful of playing with the injury.

"He trained on Monday and trained well, and I think that was the hard thing for him," he said.

"But he did some weights on Tuesday and struggled with his grip on the weights.

"The immediate reaction would always be play on, but the ramifications for the rest of his career are pretty important, and for the rest of his life, and he needs to get it fixed."

Kerr had the option of bypassing surgery and playing on, which would result in permanent damage to the finger.

Worsfold said Kerr considered it seriously, before electing to go under the knife.

"He had the choice of not getting it fixed and playing on, but then having a mangled finger for the rest of his life," he said.

"I know he considered it, but he had to weigh up a lot of different things.

"Deep down, I certainly think he has made the right decision and no doubt he believes that."

West Coast's Daniel Chick had his finger amputated to prolong his career after injury, but Worsfold said the two cases were very different.

Despite the potentially-disastrous loss of one of their midfield dynamos, with Kerr averaging 27 possessions per game this season, Worsfold said the Eagles would not be distracted from the task ahead.

"It doesn't change anything," he said.

"We deal with it, these things happen."

In better news for the Eagles, Judd (groin) and Cousins (hamstring) flew to Melbourne after missing the Richmond win with their injuries.

Cousins was the last person on the flight, the departures screen already showing the flight as closed and the controversial midfielder paged as he casually strolled towards the departure gate.

"We wouldn't be bothered travelling them if they weren't a strong chance to play," Worsfold said.

But with doubt lingering over the pair, West Coast took a squad of 25 to Melbourne.

Tough utility Beau Waters travelled after missing the last two games with a finger injury, but Worsfold said Chick have again been overlooked.

Promoted this week off the rookie list to replace Ashley Sampi, Jamie McNamara travelled and is in line for his AFL debut.

Left-footed Mark Nicoski was part of the 25-strong touring party, along with key forward Chad Jones, while youngster Will Schofield, and Kerr and Steven Armstrong (knee) were missing from the side that beat Richmond.

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