WAFL 2022: Perth midfielder Josh Smith injured again as Demons look to strike in Mandurah

Headshot of Mitchell Woodcock
Mitchell WoodcockThe West Australian
Perth midfielder Josh Smith is injured again.
Camera IconPerth midfielder Josh Smith is injured again. Credit: Justin Benson-Cooper/The Sunday Times

Josh Smith’s horror run with injuries since joining Perth has continued, with the wingman set to miss up to six weeks with another hamstring injury.

Smith played just one game in 2021 after signing on with the Demons as hamstring and knee injuries kept him sidelined.

The 28-year-old returned in round two and has averaged 11 disposals and five tackles a game as the former Collingwood and West Coast midfielder tries to try to return to form.

Smith injured the hamstring in his other leg during the first quarter of the Demons’ five-point loss to Swan Districts on Saturday but played out the game.

He has avoided surgery but will miss four to six weeks, with Perth prepared for it to be the longer of the two.

The Demons made four changes for their clash against Peel Thunder in Mandurah on Saturday, with Smith, Denzel More (ankle), Connor Sing (concussion) and Nyika John (COVID-19) out, with Kasey Nicholas, Ajang Ajang, Simon Hayward and Chapman Jones recalled.

The Thunder have lost Fremantle spearhead Jye Amiss and small forward Liam Henry to AFL duties, but have regained Dockers midfielders, Karl Worner and Mitch Crowden.

Subiaco are nearing full strength after regaining star recruit Stefan Giro, defender Kyle Stainsby and Max Walters for their must-win clash against East Perth at Leederville Oval.

Stefan Giro and Subiaco are still hunting for their first win of 2022.
Camera IconStefan Giro will return to Subiaco’s side this week as they chase their first win since last year’s grand final. Credit: Jack Foley/TheWest

A loss would give the Lions a 0-4 start for the first time since 1993, but the Royals will be without midfielder Angus Schumacher, who has been called upon by the West Coast Eagles.

East Perth have regained Shayne Hille from a hamstring injury and in-form goalkicker Sebit Kuek from illness, with Kade Dittmar and Tom North omitted.

Swan Districts’ hopes of snapping a nine-game losing streak against Claremont have been boosted by the return of key recruit Jarvis Pina and wingman Aidan Clarke.

Tarir Bayok and Ryan Kemp, who also missed last weekend’s win over Perth with COVID-19, will come back through the reserves.

Wingman Aidan Clarke is back for Swan Districts.
Camera IconWingman Aidan Clarke is back for Swan Districts. Credit: Gary Day/TheWest

The undefeated Tigers have welcomed back spearhead Alex Manuel, but have been forced to do a reshuffle after Declan Mountford travelled with the Eagles.

South Fremantle have regained six players from COVID-19 protocols, including Tom Blechynden, Caleb Datson, Brandon Donaldson and Toby McQuilkin.

But star swingman Zac Strom will miss because of the virus, while Steven Verrier is out with soreness, Jake Florenca is with West Coast and Josh Cuneo, Manfred Kelly and Lachlan Taylor were all dropped.

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