Essendon will be without forward Matt Guelfi for at least the next six weeks after scans revealed a high-grade hamstring injury.

Guelfi was left out of all grades on the weekend after suffering hamstring soreness in training last week, with scans confirming the 25-year-old had injured himself.

GM of Performance Daniel McPherson said the club will take a cautious approach with Guelfi after suffering his second soft tissue injury of the year.

“’Guelf’ has a high-grade hamstring injury that we’ll take a really conservative approach with,” McPherson said.

“He won’t do much for the next couple of weeks before commencing some running – he’s likely to miss six-eight weeks.”

In more promising news, key defender Brandon Zerk-Thatcher is looming to be available for Sunday’s round four clash against GWS, while forward Anthony McDonald-Tipungwuti will train fully this week.


While Zerk-Thatcher (ankle) and McDonald-Tipungwuti (quad) will have slightly different training programs, McPherson said the hope will be both players are able to play this weekend.

‘Thatch’ has progressed well over the weekend. The plan will be for him to complete some modified training over the next couple of days, before having him train fully on Friday and then be available for selection,” he said.

“We also expect ‘Walla’ to train fully this week and be available to play on the weekend.”

Key defender Kaine Baldwin will be unavailable for selection this weekend after suffering delayed concussion.

Despite being cleared initially after receiving a laceration to the head in a contest during the VFL Bombers’ round two loss to Sandringham, Baldwin experienced symptoms post-match.

‘Balders’ got a cut to the head in the VFL,” McPherson said.

“He was assessed for concussion and was cleared to finish the match but then developed symptoms later Sunday night and Monday morning. Further assessment indicated he was suffering delayed concussion, so he won’t play this week.”


Third-year utility Nik Cox’s return to play from a back injury has been pushed back by two weeks as he continues to make steady progress through his rehab program.

McPherson said the Bombers will be extremely cautious with the 20-year-old’s recovery.

’Coxy’ has been doing an enormous amount of strength work in the gym to rehab is back, and despite this taking some time, he is coming along well. His most recent scans have shown gradual improvement, so we will continue with his strength work, and re-introduce him to running in the coming weeks ahead of his return to play later in the year.” McPherson said.

“We’ll continue to take a conservative approach with this injury to ensure we give him all the time he needs to heal properly.”

Essendon round four injury list 

Name Injury  Weeks
Brandon Zerk-Thatcher Ankle Test
Anthony McDonald-Tipungwuti Quad Test
Nick Bryan Hamstring 1
Kaine Baldwin Concussion 1
Zach Reid Back 3
Matt Guelfi Hamstring 6-8
Nik Cox Back 8
Elijah Tsatas Knee 9-10
Peter Wright Shoulder 14-16
James Stewart Foot TBC
Jayden Davey Knee Season