WEST Perth coach Bill Monaghan has admitted they were “hopeful” rather than confident veteran Matt Guadagnin would make it through the WAFL game against East Fremantle, having not played league football in more than two years through injury.
The 192-game footballer’s return was cut short when he injured his hamstring early in the match at Arena Joondalup on Saturday.
Guadagnin was a surprise inclusion, with expectations he would spend at least another week building fitness in a fourth reserves game.
Monaghan conceded his inclusion was a risk but said it was one they would “probably” take again if a similar situation arose.
He had seemed “physically right” so they hoped to get 70 minutes out of him up forward with some brief cameos on the ball.
“What he could bring to the group both as a little of bit of inspiration and in his leadership, we thought it was a risk worth taking,” he said.
“To be honest, we were probably hopeful he would get through a game; 25 months out of the game, you can’t be certain.”
The midfielder has battled hamstring issues after recovering from a knee reconstruction in 2015.
Frustratingly, the hamstring he injured on Saturday was not the one that had hassled him the most this season.
Monaghan said the premiership player had given no indication if he would retire. While he is unlikely to play for the remainder of the season, his hamstring injury is only a minor one.
“He jogged laps on Tuesday night; at the time (of the injury) it probably seemed more significant than it was,” he said.
“He said he still doesn’t know (if he’ll retire), we’ll sit down at the appropriate time and discuss that.”
Sixth-placed West Perth faces league leaders Subiaco on Saturday in a clash that could decide the Falcons finals fate.