Main content
NewestEssendonWebsiteHeader.png

Fletcher's season could be over

ESSENDON will make at least three changes to its side for Friday night's clash with Collingwood with Dustin Fletcher, Jason Winderlich and Alwyn Davey ruled out with injury.

Fletcher (hamstring) is also no certainty to play again this year, with coach Matthew Knights confirming he will be sidelined for at least two weeks.

"He's got a slight hamstring. He did it in last week's game and probably carried it through for the majority," Knights said.

"It's a really small hamstring but it's there so he'll miss two weeks, possibly three.

"This year, most of our hamstrings have been three weeks-plus. David Hille was seven, Angus Monfries was three to four and Cale Hooker was three to four.

"We haven't had many hamstrings that have been under the three-week period."

Winderlich (broken hand) returned last week but his hand has since swollen up and will prevent him from facing the Pies.

The pair will join Davey on the sidelines, after he broke his ulna (arm) against Carlton last Friday.

Key position prospect Jake Carlisle and rookie-listed defender Stewart Crameri will both make their AFL debut this week.

Knights said Crameri was a great story after his selection in the 2010 NAB AFL Rookie Draft.

"He's from Maryborough, the rookie list, through the Bendigo Bombers. It's been quite a journey for young Stewart," he said.

"He's had great form in the VFL virtually for the whole year so we're really looking forward to him playing on a big stage. It's a long way from Maryborough to the MCG in front of 80 or 90,000."

Hille is available to play after accepting a reprimand from the match review panel, and has spent the week promoting the Bombers' Road Safety game through his own experience with road trauma.

Knights said Hille's strength to revisit a car accident as a 17-year-old that claimed the lives of three of his mates was outstanding.

"When we look at such tragedy that David has been involved in and see the way David has handled it this week and the way he's come forward from an educational point of view, to spread the word has just been amazing," he said.

"He continues to amaze me as a person.

"He's a fabulous human being and we're very lucky to have him at our club with what he's done for Essendon this week, and what he's done for more importantly the community in terms of awareness is terrific.

"If we can prevent 50 per cent of accidents and fatalities happening by just putting on that seatbelt, it makes a whole lot of sense."

The Bombers will wear a special guernsey on Friday night with a red seatbelt replacing their traditional sash.

VFL teams the Bendigo Bombers and Coburg Tigers, TAC Cup teams the Bendigo Pioneers and Oakleigh Chargers, and A-League side Melbourne Victory will also wear seatbelt sashes on their jumpers this weekend.