Three Essendon players are gunning to be available for a return to action this weekend.

Forward Archie Perkins, midfielder Tom Cutler and utility Aaron Francis are all proving their fitness after overcoming respective calf, quad and hamstring injuries.

Head of high performance Sean Murphy said all three players were ticking off their final metrics as a return to play looms.

“All three of them ticked off really good session on the weekend,” Murphy told Essendon FC’s Liberty Financial Performance Update.

“They’re all shaping up really well. They’ve got to get through main training later in the week and then hopefully all three of them will be available to play this weekend.

“All things are looking promising for those three boys.”

Archie Perkins at main training on Wednesday. (Photo: Essendon FC)

Midfielder Ben Hobbs looks likely to take his place in the Bombers’ side against Collingwood after being cleared of any major damage to his shoulder.

Hobbs suffered a big knock to the area from Gold Coast midfielder David Swallow in the second term, but played on throughout the rest of the match.

Murphy said Hobbs’ ability to get through main training will ensure the 19-year-old’s availability.

“’Hobbsy’ copped that heavy knock in the game that needed attention,” Murphy said.

“He’s pulled up pretty well. He’s got to get through main training during the week to see how he gets up for the weekend but all things are looking pretty promising and he should be right to go.”

MELBOURNE, AUSTRALIA - JULY 17: Ben Hobbs of the Bombers (R) handballs during the round 18 AFL match between the Essendon Bombers and the Gold Coast Suns at Marvel Stadium on July 17, 2022 in Melbourne, Australia. (Photo by Graham Denholm/AFL Photos)

Midfielder Darcy Parish has begun integrating back into running in his comeback from a calf strain.

Parish will continue to build his workload as he targets a round 21 return.

“(Darcy’s) up and running now,” Murphy said.

“He’s getting that strength into that calf and getting volume in those legs which is great, but all things going smoothly, we’ll see him in the next three to four weeks.”

Player Injury Duration
Tom Cutler Quad Test
Aaron Francis Hamstring Test
Archie Perkins Calf Test
Darcy Parish Calf Short term
Kaine Baldwin Calf Short term
Nik Cox Ankle Long term
Devon Smith Knee Long term
Tex Wanganeen  Foot  Season
Updated July 20, 2022