Daw battles knee swelling

Written By Unknown on Selasa, 26 Februari 2013 | 14.43

Majak Daw in action during the Kangaroos' NAB Cup win against Richmond. Picture: Salpigtidis George Source: Herald Sun

EXCITING North Melbourne big man Majak Daw has knee problems and is in doubt for the NAB Cup second round.

Daw developed swelling in both knees after the Kangaroos' wins against Melbourne and Richmond at Etihad Stadium last Friday night.

Coach Brad Scott said the ruckman-forward would need to improve rapidly over the next day or so to be guaranteed a place in the 24-player squad to face the Gold Coast in Townsville on Saturday afternoon.

"We're hopefully Majak will be up and right to play, but he did have some swelling Sunday and Saturday morning,'' Scott said.

"That was disappointing given that we managed his loads through the pre-season and thought he would get through. And we managed his load in the games, so at this stage at best he's 50-50.

"He will be selected in the side, but if that swelling doesn't reduce significantly over the next 24 hours, then he probably won't play. We'll look to get him right for the following week.''

Scott said Daw's running goal, when he pushed aside Tiger defender Steven Morris, was an indication of how much more development is required as well an illustration of the Sudanese-born Roo's immense athleticism.

"Right at this stage, Maj is in the early stages of his development. Despite what people say, he has a lot of work to do and he knows that clearly,'' Scott said.

"We're trying to simplify the game for him at the moment. I said before the game that he would do a few things that would make people stand up and take notice. But he's still really working hard on the fundamentals of the game.

"He didn't see Brad McKenzie on the inside. It's very easy in hindsight to say he should've passed it off, he simply didn't see him. And they're the fundamentals that I'm talking about.

North Melbourne ruckman Majak Daw provided the first highlight of the match with a strong mark backing into a pack. Picture: Wayne Ludbey Source: Herald Sun

"It takes players a long time to develop the awareness around them. Maj at the moment, the simplest way for him to play is to play to his strengths.

"He'll evolve and develop that awareness as time goes on. He wants to be a respected member of this team and that means giving it to a player in a better position when it presents itself.

"When he saw the vision he said, 'Yeah, I should've given it to Brad, but I just didn't see him', so that's what we're working on with him to try to evolve his development.

"It's the joy of coaching, that's why we coach because the satisfaction you get from working hard with a player. And to (ruck coach) Alex Ishchenko's credit and all our development staff's credit, they take great satisfaction in watching Maj improve.''

Scott said the Kangaroos will be playing to win against the Suns and had already factored in the expected north Queensland heat in the preparations.

Nathan Grima and Leigh Adams are not likely to be risked for the long trip, but both are still on track to be ready for Round 1 of the home-and-away season.

"It's probably unlikely Leigh Adams will be right to play. He's probably the only regular member of our team who wasn't in the squad last week,'' he said.

"Nathan is close. He wanted to play last week, but he's a really important part of our back six, but we won't risk him if he's not 100 per cent. He prefer to get more training sessions into him.

"It will be more a process of leaving players out than bringing new ones in.

The Roos today unveiled the new surface at their training ground at Aegis Park.

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