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SKINS Injury Update - Rd 21

BTV: SKINS Injury Update - August 7 SKINS Injury Update with Physical Performance Manager Justin Crow.

Essendon captain Dyson Heppell and gun recruit Jake Stringer lead a number of important Bombers set to be made available for selection this week.

Coach John Worsfold revealed last week that Heppell had been “carrying some soreness” during the side’s clash with Hawthorn, but the club expects the midfielder to take his place in the line-up against St Kilda on Friday.

“This time of year we have to manage the amount of training they do during the week – Hepp’s certainly in that category,” Physical Performance Manager Justin Crow said on the SKINS Injury Update on Tuesday.

“He is feeling a lot better this week than he was last week, which is good considering we’ve got the short turnaround.

“We’re expecting him to be able to play and he looked pretty sharp out there at training today.”

Stringer lashed out at the players’ bench in frustration during the third term of the loss last weekend after suffering a lower leg injury, but Crow confirmed there were no lasting concerns for the versatile Bomber.

“Jake took that knock to the shin in the area where he’s previously broken his leg. Fortunately, there’s no major issue there,” he said.

“He also trained today and we expect him to be available.”

Matt Dea and Matt Guelfi were late withdrawals for the match, with Dea taking extra precautions in his return from concussion.

“Matt Dea passed all the concussion testing last week and trained quite well,” Crow said.

“At the end of the week he made a decision that he felt like he’d be more confident after another week (off), which was a mature decision and we absolutely respect that.”

While the defender will put his hand up for selection, Guelfi remains unlikely to return as he continues to battle a nasty illness.

“We had Guelfi pull out of the game with gastro, it seems to be a severe bout.

“He’s still somewhat unwell today, so it would take a big turnaround for him to be available this week, although we still hold out some hope.”

Joe Daniher continues to make steady progress as he patiently rebuilds his training load after showing signs of early onset of osteitis pubis earlier this year, and Crow stressed that nothing will force the club into rushing the star forward’s return.

“He’s doing low-level running progressions at the moment and week just keep bringing him up and a slow and steady rate as he’s able.

“We’re not going to be affected by our results or other outside factors in that progression.”

Key defender Patrick Ambrose and key forward Shaun McKernan are building up their running as they recover from hamstring injuries, while young forward Josh Begley is on track in his rehabilitation after suffering an ACL injury on ANZAC Day.

The club is hopeful Begley will be able to resume running over ground before the end of the season, with defender Marty Gleeson also expected to do the same in the coming weeks.

“We’re comfortable with how (Gleeson’s) ankle is going,” Crow said.

“It’s been slow but he’s shown a steady rate of progress and we expect to see him doing more running over the final few weeks before the end of the home and away season.”