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Mutch back in business

BTV: SKINS Injury Update - Rd 14 With Physical Performance Manager, Justin Crow.
(Stringer) will be given a couple more days to show us how much he can improve in terms of whether or not he gets up for this weekend.”
Justin Crow

Young Essendon midfielder Kobe Mutch will make his long-awaited return to the field this week after overcoming a high-grade hamstring injury suffered in round three.

Mutch went down early in the side’s victory over Melbourne and has worked tirelessly to get back to full fitness.

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Club physical performance manager Justin Crow said the onballer will line up for the VFL Bombers against Port Melbourne at Adcon Stadium on Sunday should he get through the week’s training as expected.

“Kobe will return, he’ll do training with the VFL squad through the rest of this week,” Crow said on the SKINS Injury Update on Tuesday.

“Assuming that all goes well, he’s penciled in to play on modified game time in the VFL match.”

Jake Stringer is also a chance to be named this week after scans cleared the star forward of any major damage.

Crow confirmed Stringer sustained a minor injury to his knee, but said he is improving every day and remains in the mix to take on West Coast on Thursday.

“Most of the Essendon fans out there would have seen the footage of Jake coming to ground with someone falling across him, as well as his ankle moving underneath him.

“His scans cleared his ankle of any injury. He does have an injury up near the knee at the proximal tibeofibular joint, which took some stress in that incident.

“That’s sore, but it’s improving day by day. He’ll be given a couple more days to show us how much he can improve in terms of whether or not he gets up for this weekend.”

The club is continuing to take a patient approach to James Stewart’s rehabilitation, with the key forward failing to reach the expected mark after the mid-season bye.

“We were tracking James with his groin injury towards returning after the bye. He hasn’t quite got to 100 per cent and we’re not going to put him out there until he does,” Crow said.

“That leaves (his return date) a little indefinite, but we’re just going to keep plugging away, taking good advice on how to get that groin right up to full capacity before playing him in an AFL match.”

The team for Thursday’s blockbuster against the Eagles will be announced at 6:20pm on Wednesday.