Rock depth put to test

MIKE KOREEN -- Toronto Sun

, Last Updated: 7:04 AM ET

Terry Sanderson thinks his Toronto Rock has more depth than any lacrosse team he has coached.

That theory will be tested tomorrow night in Buffalo against the Bandits as the Rock opens its National Lacrosse League season with some significant injury concerns.

Defending NLL MVP Jim Veltman is questionable with a hamstring injury, veteran defender Dan Ladouceur (knee) is doubtful and speedy defender Glenn Clark (knee) is out.

Veltman suffered the injury, believed to be a pulled hamstring, during practice on Sunday. The team captain expects his status to be a game-day decision.

"I'm getting there," Veltman said yesterday. "I'm walking around as I'm talking."

Sanderson is preaching caution for all his players, knowing this is simply the first of 16 games in an extremely tight league.

"Any player who is injured is not going to play better than a guy who is healthy," said Sanderson, the Rock's general manager/coach. "If somebody is at 80%, I'd sooner take my chances with a guy at 100%."

Ladouceur is scheduled to go for an MRI on Saturday, though he was holding out hope yesterday he may be able to suit up tomorrow. As for Clark, he probably is out for at least two games, if not more. Clark and Ladouceur both did not play in the Rock's 16-13 pre-season win over the Philadelphia Wings last Thursday in Barrie.

Defender Chris Driscoll, who also missed the pre-season finale with a bruised foot, is expected to play tomorrow.

Despite a 19-10 loss against the Bandits in the East Division final last year, Sanderson isn't biting his nails all night because of the injury bug.

"We didn't build a team around one guy," he said. "If (somebody) can't go, somebody else will fill that role."

BRIEFLY

The season opener is one of four untelevised Rock games this season. All games can be heard on 640 AM.


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