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Skipper back, but Dogs veteran set for VFL

Easton Wood will be back for the clash with Adelaide

EASTON Wood will return from a hamstring injury for the Western Bulldogs in Friday night’s clash with Adelaide at the Adelaide Oval.

While the captain will play his first game since the round six win over Carlton, veteran defender Dale Morris will resume through the VFL in his return from a partially torn ACL sustained at training in February.

Injury-prone key defender Marcus Adams will join Morris in the Footscray side to play Werribee in his return from ankle ligament damage picked up in the pre-season.

While he suggested there would be more than one change to the side that defeated Brisbane in round eight, senior coach Luke Beveridge said Wood would be a definite inclusion against the Crows and the club would take a cautious approach with Morris.

Impressive draftee Aaron Naughton will miss the game with an ankle injury.

“(Easton) will come in for Aaron, and there might be another change or two,” Beveridge said on Thursday morning.

“(Dale) has been out for a while with the nature of the injury, and it doesn’t matter what you go through in your rehab, you can’t quite replicate that match-day intensity.

“We didn’t feel we’d be doing the right thing by him by rushing him back.

“It was tempting, but he’ll play VFL footy.”

Versatile talls Jordan Roughead and Jackson Trengove will also be considered to help Tom Boyd counter the Crows’ star ruckman Sam Jacobs.

Recruit Josh Schache will play at VFL level again after six goals and “some very promising signs” in the past two weeks for Footscray.

Wood is a massive inclusion for a young team travelling to the cauldron that Adelaide Oval is for visiting teams, and Beveridge said the captain returning would only add to the confidence the Dogs were building after three wins on the trot.

“There’s definitely some encouraging signs coming to the fore in the last few weeks, and enough to get us feeling pretty good about our brand (of footy) again and the sort of footy we play,” he said.

“I think the challenge of playing a team that is probably one of the more touted and recognised teams that might be there at the end of the year always simulates that train of thought that you may take a pretty hefty scalp.”

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