WODONGA Diamonds will resist the urge to rush key defender Dan Millynn back into the side this weekend despite recent mixed results.
Last year’s league and cup winning captain has been sidelined for much of the year after having to undergo surgery on an ankle.
His return has been further hampered by the wet weather that has restricted the club to indoor training.
Long-term injuries to Millynn and Jesse Stephens, a more recent knee injury to Nagus Henry and three and two-week suspensions to Steve Currie and Hudson Maggerstein have again stretched Diamonds’ depth.
Diamonds were seen as a chance of repeating last year’s stellar season but losses to Myrtleford and then a 1-0 win against last placed St Pats has dented their league and cup aspirations.
On Sunday they are at home to Albury Hotspurs sevens days after claiming one of their biggest scalps in recent years with a 2-0 win over Myrtleford.
Coach Jimmy Bell said Millynn was the best judge of his body and would not rush his central defender back into the side if he wasn’t right.
“Dan’s a smart man, he knows where his body is at and we will be guided by him,” he said.
“A few years ago I would have asked him to play last week but I’d prefer to be patient and make sure he’s right.
“In a perfect world he would play this weekend but whether he is up to starting might be questionable.
“He’s last year’s captain and a leader at the club so when he takes to the field he needs to be right.”
Bell said it had been a frustrating year as a coach.
“We were starting to re-group after early season injuries, getting players back and then we lose Nagus, pick up suspensions and we’re back to square one,” he said.
Bell said Millynn was unlikely to take part in team training last night.
“The weather hasn’t helped — we had to cancel Tuesday night and we will be indoors tonight but we won’t risk him training on the hard surfaces,” he said.
“Knowing Dan he will probably head to La Trobe and do his own training in the wet in a bid to get his body ready.”