Essendon deputy vice-captain Andrew McGrath will be available for the Dons’ round 17 clash with Brisbane after successfully overcoming an adductor strain.

The 24-year-old has missed the past two weeks with the injury after tweaking his adductor in the Bombers' round 14 win over St Kilda.

Head of high performance Sean Murphy said McGrath has completed all the markers required to ensure the defender is fit and firing for Sunday.

“Andy’s going really well. He ticked off a really important session on the weekend and he’s at the end stage of his rehab now,” Murphy told Essendon FC’s Liberty Financial Performance Update.

“He’ll train fully across this week and we expect him to be available this weekend.”

Forward Archie Perkins will be unavailable for this week’s fixture as he continues to rehabilitate a calf injury.

Murphy said the 20-year-old is being carefully managed as the club continues to identify the appropriate recovery length for Perkins’ return.

“’Perko’s’ got a low-end calf strain at the moment,” Murphy said.

“Unfortunately, there was a little bit of tightness out of main training, and it’s shown up as a low-end calf strain.

“He’ll miss this week and we’ll see how he shapes up over the next week or two.”

00:46 Mins
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Rd 14 | Perkins pounces and puts it through

Archie Perkins lays a superb tackle on Paddy Ryder and curls through a fine kick.

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Key utility James Stewart is targeting a return for Essendon’s round 17 VFL fixture as he recovers from a foot injury.

With the VFL Bombers scheduled for a bye this week, Stewart will have a two-week launch pad into a return to playing.

“It’s been a day-by-day proposition for him with that plantar fascia injury,” Murphy said.

“He’s up and running again which is great. There’s no VFL game this weekend, so we’ll take our time to build him up across this week and expect him to be available the following week if all things go really well and smoothly.”

Key forwards Kaine Baldwin and Aaron Francis will be placed into rehabilitation programs after suffering calf and hamstring injuries respectively.

The pair were ruled out late last week before the VFL Dons' clash with Sydney Reserves after pulling up sore following the side's round 15 match against Sandringham.

"'Balders' had a bit of calf tightness and Francis a little bit of hamstring tightness coming out of that game," Murphy said.

"They didn't play on the weekend and will enter a rehabilitation block now and hopefully we'll see them back over the next couple of weeks.

Injury List - Rd 17

Player Injury Duration
Andrew McGrath Adductor Test
Archie Perkins Calf Short terms
Tom Cutler Quad Short term
Kaine Baldwin Calf Short term
Aaron Francis Hamstring Short term
James Stewart Foot Short term
Michael Hurley Hip Short term
Nik Cox Ankle Long term
Devon Smith Knee Long term
Tex Wanganeen  Foot  Season
Updated July 6, 2022