Collingwood manager Geoff Walsh has played down fears that Chris Dawes and Alan Didak will be fit in time for the club’s appearance in the AFL preliminary final against the Sydney Swans. The duo were forced from the field in the Pies’ 13-point victory against West Coast in the semi-finals, both now facing a race against time to be available for Collingwood’s huge match against Sydney.
Didak was forced off the pitch at three-quarter time with a calf problem and Dawes suffered a knee problem. While Didak didn’t come back on against West Coast, Dawes attempted to come back into the action, only to defy AFL betting tips and return to the sidelines after admitting defeat in his bid to shake off the problem.
“The doctors looked at them after the game and will assess them again this week but at this stage there is confidence that both will come up,” Collingwood football manager Geoff Walsh said after the West Coast victory.
“There were no scans taken this morning and importantly both Chris and Alan are optimistic. It remains to be seen how the week unfolds for them, but right now we think they are a good chance to be on the plane.”
Both players have been important parts of the Collingwood side that has recorded some impressive AFL results this season, and Walsh will be hoping his medical staff can patch the duo up and have them ready to go at the ANZ Stadium.
Coming through the West Coast match and winning so soon after the death of former team-mate John McCarthy proved just how full of character this Collingwood squad is. With the title now within their grasp, the Pies will be desperate to overcome the final few hurdles that stand in their way.