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Key Dons on track

Nick Bowen afl.com.au  September 4, 2017 10:05 AM

20170904_Fantasia_H.jpg

Orazio Fantasia is stepping up his training program in the lead up to the match against Sydney.

Essendon is "pretty optimistic" it will regain injured trio Michael Hurley, Cale Hooker and Orazio Fantasia for Saturday's elimination final against Sydney, General Manager of Football Rob Kerr says.

Fantasia (hamstring) missed the last three rounds of the home and away season, Hurley (calf) the last two and Hooker (leg) the final match.

Kerr said all three players were on track to play against the Swans but would have to prove their fitness later this week.

"They're all on target in terms of their rehabilitation. This week is obviously a critical week in terms of their training loads and the like, but at this point in time we're comfortable with where they're at," Kerr said.

"They've been set milestones and benchmarks in terms of their rehab with the view to getting them up to play, and at the moment they've met those.

"So come the main training session on Wednesday we'll get a better look at them in terms of preparation and load and the like, and the call will be made from there.

"But at this stage we're pretty optimistic that they'll be right to play."

Kerr said Fantasia had upped his running speed to about 80 per cent at training last Friday and got through that session without any soreness.

The Bombers footy boss said the club's doctor had decided to hold Fantasia back from top-speed running until later this week.