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Morris well down the ‘Gia’ road

Medical Room: Latest on Naughton, Morris, Adams and Wood Find out the latest Bulldogs injury news on Aaron Naughton, Dale Morris, Marcus Adams and Easton Wood.
Dale Morris all but certain to return to football this weekend. (Photo: AFL Media) - Western Bulldogs
Dale Morris all but certain to return to football this weekend. (Photo: AFL Media)

Dale Morris is all but certain to return to football this weekend after Bulldogs medical services manager Chris Bell confirmed that the 35-year-old will be available for selection if he gets through training this week.

Morris suffered a partial tearing of his ACL during an “innocuous incident” at training back in February, the defender telling westernbulldogs.com.au at the time the severity of the injury surprised him.

“It felt like not much at all but it turns out there was a bit going on in there,” he said.

“It turns out I was unlucky to get the injury but lucky that it was only a partial (tear).”

Rather than surgery, Morris and the Bulldogs medical team opted for targeted strength and conditioning rehabilitation over surgery, an approach former teammate and now assistant coach Daniel Giansiracusa took in late 2007.

In Giansiracusa’s case, the ligament had frayed but hadn’t completely torn, and within two weeks it had scarred up and strengthened, setting him on the path of recovery.  

He played 25 games in 2008.

While Morris still has to get through training this week, Bell said on Monday that he cleared all of the hurdles asked of him so far.

“Dale has ticked every box and passed every fitness test we could throw at him, and he's now had two really solid weeks of footy training behind him.

“So, if he gets through training this week as we expect he'll return to availability this weekend.”

Although the eleven week timeline is what the Club estimated at the time of the injury, his return will no doubt add to the growing legend of the evergreen defender, although teammate Jack Macrae called it in February, telling the AFL website that Morris would be back this season.

“I've played with 'Moz' for six years now and I know how much of a warrior he is. He's had setbacks along his career and every time he's bounced back tremendously," Macrae said. 

"I have no doubt in my mind that he'll play this year and when he comes back he'll get back to his best footy without any lag time."