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Dangerfield only "40 per cent chance" of taking on Crows

Football

Geelong coach Chris Scott estimates that superstar Patrick Dangerfield is only a 40 per cent chance of recovering from a foot injury in time for Friday night’s table-topping clash against his former Adelaide teammates, including a fired-up Rory Sloane.

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Sloane, who was knocked out on the weekend, breezed through Crows training today and is likely to take his place in the side for the season-defining Adelaide Oval match.

Dangerfield suffered his own injury early in last weekend’s narrow win over Hawthorn, although he still managed to kick five goals playing as a deep forward.

The 2016 Brownlow medallist is almost certain to be named tomorrow night in a Cats team which will likely have at least three changes to accommodate the return of Andrew Mackie, Scott Selwood and Tom Stewart from injury.

“While there’s still a chance (Dangerfield) can play, we need to be really clear on how late we’re prepared to leave it, which in this case is pretty late,” Scott said today.

“We probably won’t make the final call until the day of the game which means he’ll travel with us; he’s going well enough to do that.

“But as we say quite regularly, and it’s not just a line, if there is any risk that he’s going to compromise himself towards the end of the season then it would be unlikely he would play.”

Dangerfield has played all 40 games for Geelong since crossing from Adelaide before the start of the 2016 season.

The Cats covered the enforced absence of their other midfield gun Joel Selwood earlier in the year, beating Fremantle and drawing with Greater Western Sydney.

“I’m not one who subscribes to the theory that you take one of the best players in the competition out and you just bring another player in and everything’s fine,” Scott said.

“Clearly we rely on our best players. I think every team does.

“It would be an interesting challenge for us to perform really well against the best team without Patty.

“Just because we played OK without Joel for a couple of weeks doesn’t mean you’d be able to do that every week.”

Triple-premiership veteran Mackie (wrist) and Scott Selwood (hamstring tightness) are both expected to return for Geelong after being late withdrawals against the Hawks.

Highly-regarded young defender Stewart will wear a helmet after recovering from a fractured eye socket.

The second-placed Cats have won their past five matches against the ladder-leading Crows, including a 22-point triumph at Simonds Stadium in round 11.

Adelaide’s star midfielder – and Dangerfield’s good mate – Sloane appears likely to overcome concussion for the Friday night blockbuster.

Sloane, who was knocked out in last weekend’s win against Melbourne, completed Adelaide’s full training session today.

“He looked great today… he’s doing everything he can to play but it will be a doctor’s decision,” teammate Andy Otten told reporters.
-AAP

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