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Illness hits Geelong, Crows forward in doubt


Tom Stewart has become the second Geelong AFL defender to be struck down by illness in the space of four days, while Adelaide forward Mitch McGovern is in doubt for Friday’s match.

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Stewart was sent home from the club’s training base this morning with what he suspected was a bout of gastro-enteritis or food poisoning.

Fullback Tom Lonergan was a last-minute withdrawal from last Friday night’s semi-final win over Sydney, also due to food poisoning.

The Cats play Adelaide in a preliminary final at Adelaide Oval on Friday night, with the Crows facing the prospect of losing McGovern for the match.

McGovern completed a short running session today after reporting soreness in his left hamstring after a weekend training session.

Crows head of football Brett Burton told the club’s website today that scan results had not shown anything of significant concern.

“Mitch was able to do some running this morning which is encouraging, however he will appear unlikely to be available for this week,” Burton said.

“Given the time of the year, we will push his rehabilitation on to give him every chance to be available as soon as possible.”

Crows assistant coach David Teague held out a glimmer of hope.

“He is probably unlikely this week but we haven’t ruled him out,” Teague said.

Geelong’s Stewart also suffered a hamstring strain in the 59-point win over the Swans, although he said the scans had been positive and he hoped to be fit to take on the Crows.

Midfielder Cam Guthrie faces a race against time to prove his fitness after missing one match with a calf injury.

Geelong and Adelaide have split their two matches this year, with the Cats getting up on home soil by 22 points in round 11 and the Crows turning the tables by 21 points at the Adelaide Oval in round 18.

Geelong skipper Joel Selwood was unsure whether gun midfielder Patrick Dangerfield would again start at full-forward, as he did to such devastating effect with a four-goal haul against Sydney.

“He’s played some great footy for us throughout the middle of the ground too,” Selwood said on Monday.

“It’s up to the coach I guess and Patty will have a pretty fair say in it too, where he thinks he’ll best start.

“We obviously think he can stretch backlines because he’s so dominant as a forward also, but I do like lining up next to him in the middle.”

Selwood said he had pulled up well from the two finals against Richmond and Sydney after missing the last three rounds of the home and away season as he recovered from ankle surgery.

“It actually isn’t too bad,” he said.

“It is an injury where once it has been fixed it’s pretty much fine.

“It’s pretty solid, probably more solid than it was before I did the injury.”


with AAP

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