Melbourne captain Daisy Pearce will not play in the AFLW preliminary final against Adelaide as she battles to overcome a medial collateral ligament injury in time to play in the grand final if the Demons qualify.
The 32-year-old trained this week, having hurt her knee in the final round of the AFLW season, but remained unavailable for selection as the club tries to reach its first AFLW grand final with the Demons taking an unchanged line-up into the clash with the Crows.
Daisy Pearce at training this week.Credit:Simon Schluter
Pearce has been a star of the AFLW and the game’s most recognisable face in Victoria, having been one of the competition’s best players when it began in 2017 and then returning to play after having a year off when she had twins.
However she will need every ounce of luck to go her way to make an appearance in the grand final, which the Demons will play at the Gabba or the MCG if they can defeat the Crows, who have won two AFLW premierships.
The Crows, who lost to Melbourne in the home-and-away season, are also unchanged.
Collingwood have recalled small defender Sophie Casey after she missed the match against North Melbourne due to concussion with Joanna Lin unlucky to miss out having played every match this season.
The Brisbane Lions, who have lost two AFLW grand finals, recalled Shannon Campbell for the clash against the Magpies at the Gabba, with Rheanne Lugg, who had replaced Campbell, being omitted.
The AFLW grand final will be held at the Adelaide Oval, the Gabba or the MCG next Saturday afternoon with the Crows in the box seat to host the grand final if they win as they finished the season on top of the ladder.
They have gun AFLW players Chelsea Randall, Erin Phillips and Ebony Marinoff aiming to win their third premiership since the competition started while Melbourne and Collingwood are hoping to make the grand final for the first time.
Melbourne have won five on the trot with their season turning around when Pearce was moved forward and Eden Zanker was unleashed in the midfield.
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