McInerney set for test, Nic Martin into protocols, Cerra ruled out but Walsh returns, Bazlenka out

Adam Cerra has been ruled out of Thursday’s Round 2 opener but Sam Walsh is back early, while Marcus Bontempelli appears set to play. There were updates on rookies Angus Sheldrick and Cooper Stephens too.

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TEAM NEWS

Ins: Scott, Duryea, Walsh, Fogarty

Outs: B.Smith (inj), Williams, Schache, Cerra (protocols), Martin (protocols), Williamson

Key holds: Bontempelli, Durdin

Emergencies/Possible subs: McComb, Dow

Ahead of the team news for the Western Bulldogs-Carlton game on Thursday, Dogs coach Luke Beveridge confirmed Stefan Martin (AF $430k SC $299k RUCK) will not be in their side, which may positively impact Tim English’s (AF $692k SC $482k F/R) Round 2 role.

The Dogs coach also signalled Marcus Bontempelli (AF $901k SC $651k MID) would likely be fine to play despite an ankle issue. He said: “I think he’ll be right. He trained pretty well the other day & should come up.”

Beveridge was asked about Caleb Daniel (AF $732k SC $510k DEF) and Bailey Dale (AF $707k SC $518k DEF) who allegedly went for scans after last week’s game.

He elusively replied: “They’re both fine. No dramas. It’s difficult, today is the day we release the team… I’d rather keep the cards tight. There will probably be changes.” That change was Bailey Smith (AF $781k SC $472k MID) missing out with a hip injury, with the Dogs not confirming any information on the extent of the issue.

Carlton revealed some major news with Adam Cerra (AF $749k SC $490k MID) out due to entering the AFL’s health and safety protocols.

However, Sam Walsh (AF $914k SC $637k MID) will return early after syndesmosis in a major boost. Carlton stand-in coach Ash Hansen said: β€œWalshy is going to play which is really exciting. We are really confident he has ticked all the boxes he needs to and will help us compete on Thursday night.”

UPDATES

Some major news dropped in the evening, with Essendon’s Rising Star Nic Martin (AF $266k SC $102k FWD) to miss Round 2. Essendon confirmed in an update: “Martin will be unavailable for selection against Brisbane on Saturday after entering the AFL’s COVID-19 health and safety protocols. Martin will be isolated for seven days as a household contact.”

Sydney coach John Longmire was non-committal on Angus Sheldrick (AF $255k SC $130k MID) playing in Round 2 when asked about him. He said: “He’s a good pressure player. Every minute he’s been here, he’s made an impression. He got a taste of a pretty high pressure game first up. He’ll learn from it. We’ll be patient with him.”

The Swans provided an update on Justin McInerney (AF $565k SC $411k D/M) after his late knee issue. Sydney Head of Physiotherapy and Medical Services Damian Raper said: “Justin McInerney ended up with a hyperextension injury towards the backend of the game. He had an MRI which revealed he has a knee-joint sprain so he is going to be a test for this weekend.”

Geelong coach Chris Scott confirmed Mitch Duncan (AF $841k SC $540k M/F) will play on Friday night after a calf issue in pre-season, while he said Cooper Stephens (AF $190k SC $123k MID) was “close” but non-committal on a debut.

The AFL also decided not to appeal Willie Rioli (AF $312k SC $225k FWD) having his one-ban overturned with the deadline passing at 2pm AEDT.

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