Melbourne’s Petracca raring to go while club sweats on others


Melbourne’s Christian Petracca has been deemed ready to go for the do-or-die clash with Brisbane on Friday night at the MCG.

Under an injury cloud since the loss to Sydney in the qualifying final, Petracca has been tending to a leg issue, with some finding it hard to see the 2021 Norm Smith Medalist play after fracturing his fibula.

The 26-year-old also copped a cork in the calf from Lance Franklin during the match, of which has given him more trouble than the cracked bone.

However, coach Simon Goodwin has stated that his midfielder is “100 per cent” going to play.

“He trained really well in our main training session and he’ll train again today but we’re really confident in terms of how he is,” Goodwin said on Thursday.

“He’s moving incredibly well and we’ve been really surprised with his progression throughout the week, and he’s the type of competitor you want.

“He’ll be in the midfield, he’ll play forward, he’ll play a variety of different roles that sit within our game methods.”

Charlie Spargo and Bayley Fritsch are also ones to watch as the Dees size up for their semi-final match.

Spargo is expected to play against the Lions despite receiving a knock to his throat last week but has been cleared of any serious damage.

Fritsch was seen pre-game taping his knee, although he managed to get through the match and was one of Melbourne’s best.

Swingman Tom McDonald wasn’t seen at training on Thursday, as he attempts to come back from a serious foot injury.

McDonald played in the VFL for Casey in their opening week of the finals, but had the week off due to winning the qualifying final.

The key forward has made tremendous progress in the past few weeks but didn’t participate in the captain’s run and said he’s bracing himself for another stint in the reserves.

“I’d say most likely play VFL, hopefully play well, get the VFL through to a grand final and see what happens then,” McDonald said to Fox Sports.

The winner of Friday night’s semi-final will take on Geelong at the MCG in a preliminary the following week.

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