GWS Giants test fitness of veteran pair

Greater Western Sydney veterans Steve Johnson and Brett Deledio were given around half an hour at training on Wednesday to prove their fitness for Saturday’s AFL preliminary final against Richmond.

Johnson, who kicked six-goals in last Saturday’s semi-final win, has been troubled by knee soreness throughout the season, while ex-Tigers star Deledio only recently returned from ongoing calf problems.

Giants’ coach Leon Cameron said both men were expected to face the Tigers at the MCG provided they pulled up well from the session.

The media gleaned no cues about either veteran as they were ushered out of the arena before the closed session, though Cameron was spotted in conversation with Johnson before the session started in earnest.

Cameron stressed Johnson had done everything required of him since his six-goal heroics against the West Coast Eagles.

“If he struggles today, then we’re probably on the back foot a little bit, but he’s done everything right yesterday,” Cameron said of Johnson.

:”He did his normal routine yesterday, he’s sprinting pretty well.”

Cameron said Johnson’s knee issue was accumulated wear and tear rather than a specific injury.

“Seventeen seasons of AFL footy has probably knocked him around a fair bit, but it”s mainly his knee.that’s fluctuated throughout the year,” Cameron said.

“The back half, probably the last weeks he”s had some different treatments which had probably helped him a little bit.

“In saying that, it’s still that week-to -week prospect. You’ve just got to see how he pulls up.”

Cameron said it would be hard to change the 22 from last week, but Richmond’s front half made them a unique side.

He expected forward Devon Smith to put his hand up to play, as his knee had improved dramatically over the past two to three weeks.

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