“To be honest, I don’t think the scans are going to be telling me whether I’m playing or not,” Docherty said with a laugh on the ABC on Saturday. “It’ll be telling me whether or not I’m having surgery at the end of the year. I’m pretty confident I’ll be out there this week.”
Voss paid tribute to Docherty, a revered figure at Ikon Park after overcoming testicular cancer and two knee reconstructions.
“It won’t feel right going forward without him, that’s for sure,” Voss said on SEN. “We’ll give him absolutely every opportunity to get up. He’s been an extremely important person for us on this journey.”
Acres, as he was in the win over Sydney, was in visible discomfort in the dying stages of the semi-final, favouring his left shoulder as he came off the field after his match-winning goal. The first-season Blue is nursing a sore, but not broken, left collarbone which Voss said flares during matches but improves through the week.
“That’s what it is, and that’s what he’s got to live with,” Voss said.
“He has to manage it early in the week, then it settles down and he’s right to go again. It’s certainly not stopping him doing anything at the moment. If playing footy means you’ve got to have a crook shoulder I reckon he’d take it at the moment. He’s playing some really good footy.”
Bargain buy Acres, secured for a future third-round pick, has been pivotal to the Blues’ rise. He has etched his name into the hearts and minds of Carlton fans with the winning goal in each of their two finals victories.
The Blues will start overwhelming underdogs against the Lions, as they did in their famous preliminary final win against Essendon in 1999, but are likely to be bolstered by the returns of Coleman medallist Harry McKay (concussion) and X-factor forward Jack Martin (suspension). Forward Jack Silvagni is also available.
Star defender Jacob Weitering was cleared of concussion after appearing wobbly on his feet from an accidental clash with Joel Smith in the final quarter.
The Blues are adamant they have not breached the AFL’s concussion guidelines in their handling of Weitering or Patrick Cripps.
The Blues say Weitering, who was doubled over after being helped to his feet by Smith, copped a knock to the throat and was struggling to breathe. He underwent assessments after the game and was cleared of concussion.
Weitering took the intercept mark on the MCC Members wing which started the chain of possessions that resulted in Acres’ match-winning goal.
“It’s [knock to the throat] probably why Weiters was so adamant, he’s just struggling to breathe there for a little while,” Blues coach Michael Voss told SEN on Saturday.
“We’re comfortable with where that sits. He got struck to the throat and he couldn’t breathe so I reckon that’s a reason to stop for a couple of seconds, I would have thought.
“So I think we’ll be OK there.”
A football source familiar with Cripps’ situation said the Carlton skipper showed no signs of concussion after being bumped by Melbourne star Kosi Pickett, who was given a one-game ban. Pickett was also fined $2500 for striking Mitch McGovern.
Cripps suffered damage to his nose but was cleared to play on by the doctors. The reigning Brownlow medallist was among his team’s best players, collecting 27 possessions – 16 of which were contested – and nine clearances.
The AFL was contacted for comment.
Taylor Adams ruled out of Pies’ preliminary final
Jon Pierik, Andrew Wu
Collingwood midfielder Taylor Adams has not given up on his premiership dream this year as another September injury threatens to end his finals campaign prematurely.
The Magpies co-vice-captain has been ruled out of his club’s preliminary final because of a hamstring strain sustained at training on Friday after colliding with John Noble. The 29-year-old clutched his left hamstring and left the field early.
Magpies football department boss Graham Wright confirmed on Saturday that the robust onballer will sit out next weekend.
“It’s unfortunate to confirm that Taylor Adams has sustained a low-grade hamstring strain during our training session held yesterday evening,” Wright said.
“Taylor has been an integral part of our midfield this season, and while it’s disappointing for him and the team that he won’t be available for the upcoming preliminary final, the positive is that it is only a minor strain.
“Our medical staff are working closely with Taylor who will immediately commence rehabilitation on his left hamstring.”
As the injury is on the “minor” scale, the Magpies will hope Adams could return for the grand final – should they make it.
Adams, who missed last year’s preliminary final with a torn groin, put on a brave face on Saturday in a video posted on his Instagram account.
“I feel like we’ve been here before, this time nowhere near as bad,” Adams said. “Last night wasn’t ideal but all good, feeling good this morning, still a chance to get back and play some footy.”
Adams played 23 games this season, averaging 18.4 disposals and 3.7 clearances.
While Adams will miss, star midfielder Nick Daicos will return from a knee injury for his first match since the round 21 loss to Hawthorn.
Darcy Moore, nursing a hand tendon injury, trained on Friday and is expected to play. The Magpies skipper wore a light bandage through the session.
Despite Adams’ absence, the Magpies have selection issues, for Patrick Lipinski and Jack Ginnivan could be under pressure, with Noble desperate for a return, having been dropped on the eve of the finals for the first time in 83 games.
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