Pies' crisis with Rocca and Cloke
Lyall Johnson and Karen Lyon | June 10, 2008
COLLINGWOOD could face a key-forward crisis ahead of this weekend's clash against Carlton.
While coach Mick Malthouse said Anthony Rocca would be sidelined indefinitely, teammate Travis Cloke should come under the scrutiny of the match review panel after he appeared to headbutt Melbourne defender Matthew Warnock, who left the field bleeding from a head wound.
Malthouse said Rocca would be allowed to recover fully from his ankle injury. He said the club would no longer try to get Rocca up for each game, only to have him barely right. The big forward did not play against Melbourne yesterday because of a cold but would not have played anyway because of his injured ankle.
"He won't be back in the immediate future," Malthouse said. "He probably wouldn't have played today, actually, regardless of his ankle. He was as crook as a dog. Hopefully, he got that off his baby and is not going to spread it through the football club.
"His ankle hasn't come up and I'm of the opinion that instead of trying to get him up every week ? Anthony's got massive heart, he's one bloke that would have got out there again today ? we feel now that we have got to get him right."
Malthouse said he was more than likely to return after the mid-season break.
"We'll make sure Anthony's right to play instead of get him in sore, back him off. He needs to be able to train flat-out."
St Kilda's Justin Koschitzke was cleared of any major damage to his left knee yesterday when scans showed he had only jarred the knee he hyperextended last Sunday. But the news was not so good for veteran Robert Harvey, who has again fallen victim to a troublesome calf.
Koschitzke played out the match against the Western Bulldogs with his knee heavily strapped and will be monitored and tested before the Saints play Sydney at the SCG on Saturday night.
Harvey withdrew from Sunday's game because of the calf problem and while the club is hopeful he will miss only one week, he is also in doubt for the clash against Fremantle. Ruckman Steven King, who withdrew because of back soreness, should play this week.
Xavier Clarke re-strained a hamstring playing for Casey in the VFL at the weekend and will miss at least two more matches.
Sydney's Barry Hall will return from injury and a seven-match suspension for the match, with coach Paul Roos backing his immediate return to the team.
"He's been doing a lot of running, so he's probably fitter than when he first played this year," Roos said yesterday.
Geelong's All-Australian full-back Matthew Scarlett is likely to miss the next two games after straining a hamstring in Friday night's win over North Melbourne.
The Cats take on Port Adelaide, which has several injury concerns from its fade-out loss to Carlton on Sunday.
Coach Mark Williams has raised the prospect of resting Chad Cornes, suggesting that his star utility may need knee surgery to repair a cartilage injury that has dogged him for three years.
The Power will be without defender Toby Thurstans for a month with a strained medial ligament.
Paul Stewart, who received a heavy knock and was taken to hospital, was cleared of major injury and could be available this week.
Brisbane Lion Daniel Bradshaw's brilliant return from a knee reconstruction has hit a hurdle, with the full-forward likely to miss Saturday's clash against the Western Bulldogs because of hamstring tightness.
West Coast forward Ben McKinley (shoulder) will miss two to three matches.