Greater Western Sydney coach Leon Cameron will have a selection dilemma on his hands if stars Shane Mumford and Steve Johnson are passed fit to play Carlton.
Ruckman Mumford (ankle) and forward Johnson (foot) looked in good physical shape in training on Wednesday, leading Cameron to cautiously hope his veteran big guns would be fit to fire against the Blues at Spotless Stadium on Saturday.
“Mumford and Johnson trained for the majority of the session so we’ll see how they pull up by the end of the day,” Cameron said.
“Things are looking pretty positive for both of them, but in saying that Mumford trained for half a session last week and pulled up a bit sore.
“If (Johnson) pulls up right he’ll come back into the team.
“Whoever goes out is going to be a bit unlucky, but it’s a good position to be in.”
With co-captain Phil Davis (toe) a near-certain starter and young defender Adam Kennedy (shoulder) also well in the frame, the coach could have some tough decisions to make on Thursday.
Some poor performances in last weekend’s unpolished 17-point win over cellar-dwellers Essendon will also come into account.
But Cameron said Sunday’s below-par first half would not necessarily prompt wholesale changes.
“We deal with all players differently because some have got credits in the bank from previous years and games, and some of these guys played really well the week before against the Swans,” he said.
“It’s a balancing act … maybe we just have to reward some really good form like we did with Matt Kennedy, and we’ve done with Jacob Hopper and Sam Reid.”
Room could be made for 19-year-old Kennedy, who sparkled on debut with three second-half goals against the Bombers to help lift the trailing Giants to the win.
“I expect him (Kennedy) to play on the weekend,” Cameron said.
“I’ve just got to be able to juggle the side around.”
Carlton have an unenviable recent record against the Giants, torn apart by more than 50 points in both meetings during the Blues’ turbulent 2015 season.
But Cameron believed them a different team under new coach Brendon Bolton, evidenced by their respectable 11th-placed standing.
“They’re well-drilled. They have a great method of moving the footy and defending the opposition,” Cameron said.
“They’re playing really well.
“Their spirit at the place is no doubt at an all-time high.
“They’ve come off a bye so they’ll be fresh and ready to go.
“We need to play at our absolute best and we’re confident we can.”