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Dons on track to return

BTV: Injury Update - Rd 18 With Physical Performance Manager, Justin Crow.
Dyson completed all of the training we asked of him today."
Justin Crow

Essendon could be in line for a major boost with captain Dyson Heppell and defender Patrick Ambrose set to be available for selection in the clash against Adelaide on Friday night.

Heppell (foot soreness) and Ambrose (quad) had been in terrific form before being forced to the sidelines and the important pair performed well on the track at The Hangar on Tuesday, according to club physical performance manager Justin Crow.

“Dyson completed all of the training we asked of him today,” Crow said on Tuesday.

“Assuming he pulls up well, we’ll be taking him to Adelaide and then hoping that he can play in the game.

“We tested Pat today. He got through all of training, did some long kicks and we’re confident he’s okay to be available for selection.”

Dyson Heppell is put through his paces at The Hangar on Tuesday. (Image: AFL Media)

Experienced defender Michael Hurley underwent surgery on Monday and Crow revealed the club is expecting him to be off the field for approximately six to eight weeks.

“Michael Hurley had that high-grade AC joint injury from the match, which involves an amount of separation within that joint.

“He saw the surgeon and he’s had surgery to fix that joint back into place, it’s a similar operation to what Jayden Laverde had a couple of years ago.

“The earliest the surgeon has had anyone return from that is five weeks, our best estimate is six to eight.

“We’ll be tracking Michael early through his rehab and get a feel for when he can start running and when he can start building up towards playing again.”

The club is maintaining its patience with the rehabilitation of regular ruckman Tom Bellchambers, who is continuing to recover from a calf injury suffered in the side’s victory over Greater Western Sydney in round 15.

“With Tom Bellchambers, we’re still waiting for the point where he can test clinically well enough where he can run pain-free and he’s not quite yet at that point.

“We’re just being patient and working with Tom to build him up once he’s ready to.”

Impressive young forward Irving Mosquito is making sharper progress in his recovery from a hamstring strain.

“Irving Mosquito is completing a high volume of running,” Crow said.

“He’ll start to build up to higher speeds over the next fortnight before becoming available.”

Irving Mosquito is making good progress with his hamstring injury. (Image: AFL Photos)

Crow said emerging onballer Kobe Mutch will not require surgery on his fractured knee cap, but his possible return date is yet to be confirmed.

“He’ll go in a splint for around a month and then build back up from there.

“The time frame is still a little bit uncertain. We’ll see how he goes after this time with the knee splinted.”

James Stewart (groin), Joe Daniher (groin), Devon Smith (knee) and Sam Draper (knee) round out the club’s injury list.

The Dons will take on the Crows from 7:20pm at Adelaide Oval on Friday, while the ladder-leading VFL Bombers will take a rest with a bye this weekend.