GWS star Lachie Whitfield fully expects to be targeted in Saturday’s AFL grand final but insists he is fully recovered from his recent appendix surgery.
Nine days after going under the knife, Whitfield trained with the Giants on Friday in preparation for the premiership decider against Richmond.
The slightly-built wingman’s toughness has been lauded by his teammates, who are certain to have his back at the MCG.
“It’s nothing I haven’t dealt with all year,” Whitfield said at the grand final parade.
“It’s footy, it’s a grand final and grand finals are rough and tough. I’ve watched them ever since I was a kid and I’ve wanted to play in them.
“I’m definitely ready for it and excited for it.”
Whitfield copped a knee to the back during the Giants’ semi-final win over Brisbane but said his appendicitis was unrelated and just bad luck.
He watched anxiously and in pain from his couch as GWS scored a gripping preliminary final win over Collingwood.
The Giants have been combative during the finals and Whitfield will have no shortage of protectors, led by ruckman Shane Mumford.
“I don’t think there’s necessarily a bodyguard or anything,” said Whitfield, who declared he had reached top speed at Friday’s training.
“We’re happy to fight our own fights. The way we play is rough and tough so it’s more at the man than at the body.
“Mummy’s always good for a block every now and then though.”
West Coast defender Jeremy McGovern notably played through last year’s grand final triumph with broken ribs, as did Brisbane’s Nigel Lappin in the 2003 decider.
Whitfield had the chance to speak to Lappin, who gave him some pointers on how to get through the week.
“It was more just about enjoying the moment and knowing that grand finals don’t come around every year, to take it as it comes and stuff like that,” Whitfield said.
“Grand final week is so special. Finals are so intense.
“There’s obviously always big injuries and everyone wants to get up for a grand final, so there’s countless stories of that.”
© AAP 2019