GREATER Western Sydney has been dealt another massive blow before Saturday’s AFL preliminary final against Collingwood, with star Lachie Whitfield ruled out after being hospitalised with appendicitis.
Giants coach Leon Cameron confirmed on Wednesday that the 25-year-old midfield ace would be sidelined for at least one week.
But Cameron was hopeful that Whitfield – who had surgery to have his appendix out on Wednesday morning – would be able to return for the grand final if the Giants were to beat the Magpies.
It’s the second major setback for GWS in less than 24 hours, coming after Toby Greene was controversially suspended for one match for making unreasonable contact to Brisbane onballer Lachie Neale’s eye region.
The Giants have challenged Greene’s ban with the appeal to be heard on Thursday.
Cameron told reporters that Whitfield was hospitalised on Tuesday after complaining of stomach pain.
“We’re confident it will just be one week,” Cameron told reporters.
“He obviously can’t play this weekend but we’ll be doing everything in our power to win this weekend and give him the opportunity to return if we progress.
“It is what it is; these things happen.
“His health is more important than any game of footy.
“You can’t replace Lachie Whitfield and Toby Greene but it does provide opportunities to guys who are itching to get out there and play their role.
“This group is very adaptable and we’ve learned to deal with lots of setbacks over the years.”
© AAP 2019