DAYLESFORD dual premiership player Cade O’Brien is almost certain to miss Saturday’s Central Highlands Football League grand final against Buninyong.
O’Brien, who played in both the Bulldogs’ 2007 and 2009 triumphs, sustained a hamstring injury in last Sunday’s preliminary final win over Bungaree.
Daylesford captain James Evans said he would be “very surprised” if O’Brien played this weekend.
“Regardless of the quality of the player, you don’t want to be carrying an injury into a grand final,” Evans said.
“He was at training on Tuesday, but didn’t train.
“We had a very light night on the track anyway, so it was more of a recovery session for us because we have got that day less turn-around.”
Evans said while O’Brien was an important member of the team, he hadn’t had a big impact in 2012.
The midfielder has been a late starter this season, playing his first match in the reserves in round four, and has featured in just five senior games this campaign.
“He hasn’t put in a massive year at all, and that’s why he has played quite a few games in the twos,” Evans said.
“It’s not as big of a disadvantage to not have him as (it would have been) last year or the year before.
“He’s a good player, and you want your good players to be playing, but at the same time he’s probably a little bit underdone.”
Buninyong coach Joe Gilbert, who kicked the sealing goal in last weekend’s win over Hepburn, said there wasn’t any serious injury concerns hanging over his players leading into the decider.
“Everyone has got through the weekend’s game so there will be no changes through injury,” Gilbert said.
The Bombers will play in their first grand final since 2003 this weekend, with the Bulldogs preparing for their sixth-straight, having lost the past two to Hepburn and Waubra.