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Griffen Makes Return in Reserves

Lee Gaskin, AFL.com.au  September 8, 2017 1:44 PM

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Ryan Griffen made a successful return from injury in a scratch match against the Crows on Friday.

He played his 70 per cent of game time and was able to come off and got through unscathed.

GIANTS veteran Ryan Griffen has made a successful return from a long-term ankle injury to emerge as a finals bolter for the GIANTS next week.

In his first game since round three against North Melbourne, Griffen made an impact across half-back for the GIANTS' reserves in a scratch match against Adelaide's reserves at Football Park on Friday morning.

GIANTS NEAFL coach Brad Miller said Griffen would be considered for a recall to the senior side, perhaps as early as next weekend's semi-final with Port Adelaide or West Coast.

"His whole preparation over the last five, six weeks has been about putting his hand up for finals and he's got himself back and given himself a chance, so absolutely, he's in the frame," Miller said.

"He looked a little bit rusty, he's missed about 20 weeks of footy, so we were expecting that a little bit.

"He played his 70 per cent of game time and was able to come off and got through unscathed."

Champion forward Steve Johnson – who was dropped for Thursday night's 36-point qualifying final loss to the Crows – was quiet in the first half, but was more active in the second when he played mostly in the midfield.

"That was to get him into the game, he's a competitive beast and likes being around the footy," Miller said.

"He spent time forward, as well.

"In the third quarter, he really stood up around the contest and got us going, so it was a positive step."

 

He could be a replacement for key forward Jeremy Cameron, who is set to be sidelined with a hamstring injury.

Tim Taranto, last year's number two overall draft pick, was also prominent, while Harry Perryman had some nice touches.

Ruckman Dawson Simpson had a strong game, and will be in the mix with Shane Mumford struggling with an ankle issue.

Taranto and Perryman were the emergencies, along with Johnson, for the loss to the Crows.

For Adelaide's reserves team, second-year midfielder Wayne Milera was exciting, booting a couple of handy goals, while key defender Alex Keath was impressive on the last line of defence.

Veteran Scott Thompson and midfielder Curtly Hampton also stood out.

"This time of the year brings out the best in the guys who are not necessarily in the 22 because they know there are potentially spots available," Crows midfield coach Scott Camporeale said.

"I did see some guys put their hand up today, which was great."

The Crows won the game 14.9 (93) to 6.8 (44).