Jayden Laverde was subbed out on Anzac Day. (Photo: AFL Photos)

Defender Jayden Laverde is giving himself every chance to be available for Sunday’s crunch game against the Western Bulldogs.

Laverde suffered a knock to his knee early in the Dons’ Anzac Day clash, which forced the 26-year-old to be subbed out of the game at three-quarter time.

Head of high performance Sean Murphy said Laverde was a test, but the early signs were promising for the highly valued defender to take his place in the best 22.

“‘Jaydos’ (Laverde) copped that heavy knock to the knee,” Murphy told Essendon’s Liberty Financial Performance Update.

“It got worse across the game and we subbed him out. He came in today still pretty swollen and sore, but he was cleared of any structural damage which was pleasing.

“He’ll be a test for this week, but all things are looking pretty positive.”

Jayden Laverde hobbles off with a knee complaint on Anzac Day. (Photo: AFL Photos)

Veteran Michael Hurley is returning to strong running after recently suffering a calf injury.

Hurley, who is building after sustaining a career-threatening hip injury last year, is now targeting a return to rigorous training over the next several weeks.

“‘Hurls’ is progressing really well with the hip side of things. It’s in a good spot and it’s getting good strength in it,” Murphy said.

“Just with his loads and building back up, he recently had a calf setback and that’s delayed his build-up.

“He’s back up and running now so hopefully he’ll integrate into skills over the next couple of weeks.”

The club will take a cautious approach with young key forward Harrison Jones after he injured his ankle in Essendon VFL’s round four clash with Port Melbourne.

The 21-year-old will unlikely feature at VFL level this week, with Murphy a no-risk approach would be taken with Jones’ rehabilitation.


“'Jonesy’ had a minor ankle sprain to the same side that he’s had the issue with against Port Melbourne,” Murphy said.

“He was a test for last week (VFL Anzac Day game) but he couldn’t quite get up and he’s missed a full week of training (because of it).

“The plan is to now monitor him across this week and he’s probably unlikely to play this week as well.

“We want to take a no-risk approach with young ‘Jonesy’ and make sure we set him up for the back half of this year.”

Harry Jones runs laps during training today. (Photo: Essendon FC)

Forward Tex Wanganeen will also be conservatively managed after sustaining an ankle injury in the same VFL game.

After missing the VFL Dons’ Anzac Day game against Collingwood, Wanganeen will likely miss one more week.

“Young Tex has a little bit of ankle impingement,” Murphy said.

“It’s the same side he had with the navicular (injury sustained last year). We’re just making sure we get that right and it’s very much a no-risk policy for him.

“He’s back up running, but he’ll probably miss this week and then be available the following week.”

Seet the full Liberty Financial Performance Update for round seven below.



Player Injury Duration
Jayden Laverde Knee Test
Darcy Parish Ankle Test
Harrison Jones Ankle Short term
Tex Wanganeen Ankle Short term
Andrew Phillips Hamstring Short term
James Stewart Calf Short term
Will Snelling Calf Medium term
Patrick Voss Foot Medium term
Kyle Langford Hamstring Medium term
Michael Hurley Hip Indefinite
Updated April 27, 2022