Main content

Star Giant in doubt, youngster out for a month

Josh Kelly is in doubt to face the Lions this week - ${keywords}
Josh Kelly is in doubt to face the Lions this week

GREATER Western Sydney star Josh Kelly has escaped serious injury, but teammate Jacob Hopper will miss at least a month after both players were hurt at training on Saturday.

While the club has received positive news on Kelly, who isn't likely to miss multiple games, if any, with a hip complaint, Hopper will be sidelined with a rolled ankle he sustained during a session over the Giants' bye weekend.

It continues a frustrating second season for the 20-year-old who had a delayed start to the year because of back soreness, then played just six games before needing surgery to repair a badly broken finger suffered against St Kilda at Etihad Stadium in round seven.

Hopper was a chance to be available to play this week but GWS head of athletic performance David Joyce backed the young gun to bounce back quickly from his latest injury.

"This is an unfortunate setback for Jacob who had done an enormous amount of work in recent weeks," he said.

"He has demonstrated his resilience in the past and we're confident he will attack the rehab plan for this injury with his normal dedication and professionalism.

"We look forward to seeing him back playing an important role for us in the weeks to come."

Hopper now rejoins a star-studded rehab group that contains Stephen Coniglio (ankle), Devon Smith (knee), Ryan Griffen (ankle), Brett Deledio (calf), Adam Kennedy (knee), and Matt Buntine (knee).

The Giants have had some horrible luck on the training track this season. Smith tweaked his knee in the club's final training session before round 10, and Griffen re-injured his ankle at a Saturday session two weeks ago, with both players needing surgery.

Kelly has been one of the stars of the competition in just his fourth season, averaging 29.3 possessions and 6.9 tackles from his 12 games, despite the constant speculation over his playing future, but could line up against the Brisbane Lions this week if he passes a fitness test.

The 22-year-old comes out of contract at the end of the year and is yet to commit to the Giants beyond 2017, with multi-million dollar offers coming from North Melbourne, and fellow Victorian clubs St Kilda and Carlton also reportedly eager to win his services.

In better news, big man Rory Lobb (groin), defender Nick Haynes (hamstring) and draftee Will Setterfield (ankle) are all a chance to be available for selection this week.

Lobb could be brought in to face the Lions at the Gabba, with Haynes and Setterfield more likely to come back through the NEAFL after spending an extended period on the injury list.