Adelaide’s enigmatic forward Taylor Walker will play in the SANFL again this week, lining up for the reserves in their landmark clash with Port Adelaide at Clare.
Speculation that he would be rushed back into the Adelaide senior side for this weekend’s match against Melbourne has been ruled out by senior officials at the club.
Walker made his return to competitive football in the SANFL at Glenelg on Friday night.
He has told media, in his many interviews since, that he pulled up well and is keen to play in the AFL as soon as possible.
Wiser heads have prevailed and he’s expected to return on Thursday May 15 for the night game against Collingwood at Adelaide Oval.
Collingwood have their own selection conundrum this week – Marley Williams may be better to return sooner than later.
Williams was given a 12-month suspended jail term last week for grievous bodily harm and returned to football on the weekend through Collingwood’s VFL team.
While coach Nathan Buckley expected Williams to need a couple of weeks in the VFL, fellow backman Alex Fasolo is in strong doubt after suffering a toe injury on Anzac Day in the win over Essendon.
That could open the door for Williams to make a speedy return to the AFL.
“He (Williams) may come into consideration as early as this weekend,” veteran Collingwood defender Nick Maxwell told SEN.
Williams played three quarters on the weekend in the VFL and hurt his ankle, but Magpies football director Rodney Eade said they are confident he will be available to play.
Eade was also pessimistic about Fasolo, saying his status was 50-50.
“The early prognosis is that he might miss this week,” Eade told the club website.
Some of Sydney’s biggest names, including $10 million man Lance Franklin, will face fitness tests ahead of Saturday night’s AFL clash with Brisbane.
Franklin has battled a sore knee since round three, and the star forward suffered further bruising in last week’s round-six win over Melbourne at the MCG.
Club physiotherapist Matt Cameron said on Tuesday he was confident the ex-Hawk would be fit to train on Thursday.
“He bruised his knee quite badly in the Melbourne game,” Cameron told the club’s website.
“He landed on it earlier in the game and then in the third quarter as well.
“It’s something that he landed on and bruised about two or three weeks beforehand and it was getting better.
“But by landing on it again he has stirred it up again.
“He’s just working on getting over that and we’re hoping he’ll be able to train on Thursday and will be right to go.”
Fellow key forward Kurt Tippett has resumed running after suffering a cracked rib in a reserves’ game on April 19.
“We’re hoping he’ll be able to train on Thursday and we’ll make an assessment from there,” Cameron said.
Co-captain Jarrad McVeigh (corked calf) is expected to play on Saturday night at the Gabba, although his training load will be monitored.
Geelong are set to be strengthened by the long-awaited AFL return of gun midfielder Steven Motlop against struggling Richmond on Sunday.
After undergoing knee surgery in London in January, Motlop has worked his way back with two games in the VFL.
Ruckman Dawson Simpson and defender Andrew Mackie could also return against the Tigers having missed last weekend’s 40-point loss to Port Adelaide with minor injuries.
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