AAMI Series injury report with CBAs: Witts ‘ready for R1’, Coniglio praise, Titch worry, Lipinski ankle injury

With less than a fortnight until Round 1 of the 2022 AFL season, we’ll be monitoring all the key injury news to come out of this weekend’s AAMI Community Series games which may impact availability.

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Gold Coast Suns v Geelong

Jarrod Witts (AF $572k SC $380k RUCK) played his first pre-season game. Suns coach Stuart Dew said: “We’ll keep stepping him up. The way he’s attacked his whole training, he’s been good to go for a while now. We’ve had to hold him back a bit. He’s all ticked off. He’ll be ready for Round 1.”

Rory Thompson (AF $190k SC $123k DEF) is a cheap defender who played after several years out with injury. Dew said: “He’s been through a fair bit. It’s been three years now… He’s still got to build up to full game time.”

Geelong lost Jed Bews (AF $506k SC $309k DEF) to concussion, while assistant coach Shaun Grigg explained Tom Stewart’s (AF $812k SC $585k DEF) absence. He said: “His wife is due to give birth again with their second child. Family first, no problems for us.”

Fremantle v West Coast

Freo had a few concerns with Nathan Wilson (AF $517k SC $391k DEF) and Rory Lobb (AF $591k SC $396k FWD) with shoulder and chest knocks although coach Justin Longmuir said benching both was precautionary.

Willie Rioli (AF $293k SC $225k FWD) played a bit in the middle. Eagles coach Adam Simpson said: “He was a mid pinch-hitter (2 years ago). We just want to get him back to what he did 2 years ago. We started him in the middle tonight just to have a look at it but traditionally he does pinch-hit there.”

Sydney v North Melbourne

Paddy McCartin (AF $271k SC $157k D/F) impressed again with 14 disposals and seven marks. Sydney assistant coach Dean Cox said: “He has worked extremely hard & trained well over the pre-season, which has put him in a position to play both of these games & put his name up for R1. At the minute, you’d have to say he’s close (for R1).”

North coach David Noble spoke about the likely role of Jason Horne-Francis (AF $290k SC $207k MID). Noble said: “I think so (he’ll play mainly forward). He’ll still find his feet in the times we get him into the midfield. You don’t them to get too beat-up around the ball too early.”

GWS Giants v Collingwood

Stephen Coniglio (AF $695k SC $261k M/F) collected 27 possessions and impressed GWS assistant coach Mark McVeigh who said: “We think his performance today is reflective of being able to do most of the pre-season. We’re really happy with where he’s at.”

Tim Taranto (AF $904k SC $529k M/F) played a bit forward with an expected role replacing the suspended Toby Greene early. McVeigh said: “Last year he played as a forward at times. Throughout this preseason he has. The great thing about Tim is his flexibility is outstanding, he can on the wing, play midfield & he can play that forward role.”

Braydon Preuss (AF $367k SC $204k RUCK) impressed in the ruck with 14 hitouts, 12 possessions, six marks and six tackles. McVeigh said: “We feel like we’ve got a really strong decision to make on what we do. What opposition come up, it always looks different, whether you go two ruckmen or one. Both guys played pretty well. I thought Preuss was terrific in the air today. Took some good grabs, gave us a contest when he was forward. Flynn’s follow-up work was really good. Both got through unscathed, which was a positive especially for Preussy who has battled injuries. We’ve got some decisions to make.”

The Giants had some injuries with Conor Stone (AF $258k SC $181k M/F) suffering a “severe hamstring” injury, Harry Perryman (AF $716k SC $497k DEF) copping a whack to the nose which McVeigh said was “fine” and a Daniel Lloyd (AF $550k SC $354k FWD) concussion.

Brayden Maynard (AF $616k SC $482k DEF) was reported for the hit that led to Lloyd’s concussion.

Pat Lipinski (AF $606k SC $359k MID) went off with an ankle injury. Pies coach Craig McRae said: “Lipinski with his ankle. I don’t know, we’ll get scans. We’ll know more early in the week.” Nathan Kreuger (AF $287k SC $198k DEF) went off with concussion.

Jordan De Goey (AF $707k SC $463k M/F) played most of the game after his rib injury. McRae said: “We actually went into the game thinking we’d manage his game time but he ended playing most of the game. In terms of his work rate and GPS, it was a massive tick.”

Nick Daicos (AF $284k SC $193k MID) was he Pies lead ball-winner. McRae said: “He’s had a terrific pre-season. We’re trying to protect him but he keeps finding the ball wherever we put him. We’ve got to keep him on the field, he’s going to show what he’s capable of.”

McRae also offered an update on Charlie Dean (AF $190k SC $102k DEF). McRae said: “He’s had an operation yesterday. He had a screw put in his foot, hopefully that’ll mend the injury. It looks like he might miss 6-10 weeks. It’ll depend on how he heals.”

Essendon v St Kilda

Dons assistant coach Blake Caracella praised Kaine Baldwin (AF $190k SC $123k FWD). He said: “I thought he played really well. He did a lot of things off the ball that wouldn’t have been seen on TV but he’s a young player who has missed a lot of footy & we’re really happy with his progress.”

The Saints had a few injuries with Hunter Clark (AF $609k SC $401k D/M) injuring his shoulder St Kilda coach Brett Ratten said: “Clark will be probably six weeks with an AC/shoulder. He might require some surgery I’m not sure completely there but scans will reveal that. He will be out for at least a month.”

Jack Billings (AF $699k SC $451k MID) went off early with a hamstring worry. Ratten said: “Billings will get a scan on his hamstring and there’ll be something there I suggest.”

Adelaide v Port Adelaide

There were some concerns for Adelaide with Rory Laird (AF $937k SC $632k MID) injuring his hand. Crows High Performance Manager Darren Burgess said: “Suffered a suspected broken right hand… He will have scans to determine the extent of the injury and will be assessed in coming days.”

Adelaide have since confirmed Laird has a broken hand and will miss 4-6 weeks.

Luke Pedlar (AF $210k SC $123k M/F) went off in the last quarter with a hamstring injury. Burgess added: “He will also require scans to determine the severity of the injury.”

Rookie Josh Rachele (AF $280k SC $184k M/F) kicked three goals and impressed again. Adelaide coach Matthew Nicks said: “We’re not going to hide from the fact at this point in time he’s in our best 22… Everything going well, we’d love to see him possibly debut early in the season.”

Robbie Gray (AF $609k SC $455k FWD) went off early with a “slight hamstring” issue but coach Ken Hinkley was hopeful he’d play Round 1. Port have since cleared him of any muscle damage.

Hawthorn v Richmond

Hawks rookie Josh Ward (AF $278k SC $180k MID) impressed with 29 disposals. Hawthorn coach Sam Mitchell said: “Wardy has been working really hard on his game to improve to make himself ready to play AFL standard football. If he’s there yet we’re not exactly sure, but everything today said he’s ready for AFL footy.”

Mitchell also revealed that Tom Mitchell (AF $969k SC $638k MID) was left out with a groin issue. He said: “Tom Mitchell is probably available (for Round 1) with his groin stuff that he’s got going on.”

Tigers assistant coach Adam Kingsley was positive about rookie Josh Gibcus (AF $274k SC $171k DEF). Kingsley said: “Certainly Gibcus has come in and seems to have taken that position. We’ll have a discussion and wait on the VFL results but he seems to have taken a position there and is going quite well.”

Western Bulldogs v Brisbane Lions

The Lions had a few injuries with Keidean Coleman (AF $343k SC $262k D/F) was the main one from an AFL Fantasy and SuperCoach perspective.

Lions coach Chris Fagan said: “Little bit early to assess. They looked quite sore. Dev (Robertson) and Keidean have both got hamstring type injuries… Dan Rich (AF $823k SC $582k DEF) we just rested in the last quarter.”

The Dogs lost Alex Keath (AF $457k SC $393k DEF) to a shin injury but Dogs coach Luke Beveridge said he should be fine for Round 1.

Carlton v Melbourne

Blues second-year forward Corey Durdin (AF $190k SC $143k FWD) kicked two first-half goals before going off injured. Carlton coach Michael Voss said: “Corey got a knock in the calf. We weren’t prepared to push that any further than we did. It’s our last game so we didn’t want to take any risks… Yep, absolutely (he’ll be right for R1).”

Voss was also positive about the experiment to play Mitch McGovern (AF $463k SC $256k FWD) in the backline. He said: “He sees the game really well from behind the ball. He’s taken on that role, he’s really embraced that role. He wants to play there & play an important role for our team.”

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