February return for Porplyzia casts doubt on 2009 fantasy prospects

You have to read these pre-season training reports like a hawk to make sure you don’t miss anything. Invaluable snippets of info can be buried deep towards the bottom of otherwise mundane stories. Such as today, where a normal story about the Crows’ training plans contained an update on Jason Porplyzia and how he will not resume competitive training for four months.

The Porpoise, so much beloved by fantasy coaches that I was pressured into creating a special icon for him on the FanFooty live scoring coverage, showed remarkable durability for a player knocked from pillar to post in his breakout season. With a shoulder that was dislocated in the first Showdown proving unwilling to stay in its socket after the lightest of touches, added to the concussion he suffered from a vicious hit behind play against the Blues, and it was amazing that he only missed four games. Willingness to deliver fantasy points while playing through pain is a quality that coaches adore, and I was one of many on the bandwagon again in 2009 for him to improve on his ’08 averages.

Unfortunately, that four-month timeframe means a return scheduled for February 2009. With the Crows facing Geelong at Docklands on February 21 in their first NAB Cup game – where he’d most likely be rested – they’re not likely to go all the way to the final again so we probably won’t get to see him in a televised game, if he even does play during the pre-season.

I’ll be dropping him from my plan teams on this news. Starting competitive drills (i.e. contact work) in February is the definition of an interrupted pre-season, which means even if he does play early games, he’ll take a while to develop match hardness and his scores will suffer. The kid’s obviously got amazing powers of recuperation, though, so hopefully he’ll beat his comeback schedule and we can see him on the park in an Adelaide uniform in round 1. Their fans are hoping for that most of all, because there’s bugger all else down at the Crows in the way of goal-kicking potential with no Brett Burton to start the season either. Nick Gill, Kurt Tippett, Taylor Walker and/or James Sellar aren’t much to build a forward line around. Get well soon, Porps!