“Lachie’s got to get through a full week of training. We’re confident it’ll happen and we feel as though he’s fully recovered,” GWS coach Leon Cameron said on Tuesday. “We’ve given him the extra week … barring any mishaps at training, we expect him to come in.
“The early indication is he’s heading in the right direction … but we’ll make that decision on Friday, when he pulls up after a tough session.”
The addition of Whitfield’s run and classy foot skills would be a timely boost for the expansion club, still stinging from an upset loss to Essendon in round 15.
Shane Mumford, who came out of retirement this season, has been a lightning rod for criticism after the defeat. The 10-day break between matches should ensure Mumford backs up against the Lions, with Cameron defending the imposing ruckman’s form and fitness.
“Our contested ball is high because of Mummy,” Cameron said. “Our clearance rate is high because of him but unfortunately you look at the scoreboard, they win by a goal and you open yourself up to scrutiny … people only remember your last game. You get over it. Understand it and move on.
“I don’t think it’ll affect Shane. He’ll probably laugh about it.”
Cameron admitted Mumford takes four or five days to get over most matches because of his knee and ankle issues.
“We’ve got five days until the game … if we get to the stage where he needs a spell, we’ll do that,” he said.
Cameron also rejected the notion the Giants’ 3-4 record outside NSW/ACT was a concern.
“Most clubs are probably the same,” he said. “It’s hard to win on the road … it’ll probably get overplayed because of the Melbourne scenario. I think you have to judge that at the end of the year.”
Cameron suggested livewire Bobby Hill, who was drafted last year, is close to an AFL debut after another impressive performance in the seconds.