BRAIN STRAIN: Roos lose gun player ahead of crunch clash

James Brain has been ruled out for the crunch clash. Picture: MATTHEW SMITHWICK

James Brain has been ruled out for the crunch clash. Picture: MATTHEW SMITHWICK

COROWA-Rutherglen will be without midfield star James Brain for its crunch clashes against Yarrawonga and Albury after he suffered suspected bone bruising in Saturday’s gutsy win over Wodonga Raiders.

Brain, who was on crutches after the game, will have scans this week but told The Border Mail he expected to miss between two to four weeks.

He had the injury assessed in Albury yesterday and is confident he has avoided significant damage.

“I was a bit stressed about it over the weekend but it looks like the medial and ACL are intact,” Brain, 23, said.

“I still can’t really put any weight on it.

“We’ll wait and see how it reacts but it looks like I’ve come away with the best result.”

Brain, who hyper-extended his left knee against Wangaratta in round 1, went down in the dying stages of the game on Saturday as Corowa-Rutherglen hung on to record a 10-point win at home.

It’s the first time the club has won its opening two games of the season since 2005.

The resurgent Roos sit second on the ladder behind Lavington.

Brain, who was among the Roos’ best on Saturday, said he was disappointed he’d be missing out on playing against the league heavyweights over the next fortnight.

Corowa-Rutherglen hosts reigning premier Yarrawonga at John Foord Oval on Sunday before travelling to the Albury Sportsground to tackle the Tigers a week later.

“That’s probably the biggest downer out of it all,” he said.

“We’ve had a couple of good wins and are really looking forward to the challenge.

“I think our young guys will thrive on it.”

In a boost for the Roos, they look likely to have talented youngster Mick Mattingly for the first time this season on Sunday.

He has been playing for Greater Western Sydney’s reserves.

However, veteran utility Kade Kuschert remains sidelined with quad problems.

He is yet to play this season.