Essendon utility Aaron Francis will be available for selection for the Bombers’ clash with North Melbourne at Metricon Stadium, should he complete a full training week on the Gold Coast.
The 22-year-old missed last week’s victory over Collingwood after suffering a back spasm at training before the club ruled him out.
"Aaron sustained a back spasm during our main training session last week, and he was still sore by Thursday and Friday, so we deemed him unfit to play," head of medical services David Rundle said.
"Fortunately, he pulled up well over the weekend and trained fully today, so provided he trains well this week, we expect him to be available this weekend for our game against North Melbourne at Metricon Stadium," Rundle said.
Completing the final stages of his rehabilitation from a low-grade calf injury, Tom Cutler looks set to return to the side within as soon as a fortnight.
“Tom is progressing really well. He’s commenced his running now and we’ll continue to build him up this week and hopefully integrate him back with the main group next week and we’re hopeful he will potentially be available for selection for round seven,” Rundle said.
Essendon midfielder Kobe Mutch continues to progress well from a wrist fracture, with the youngster set to re-join the main training group next week on the Gold Coast.
"Kobe is training fully, albeit non-contact. He is still wearing that wrist splint, but he will get to remove that next week and should be available for selection next week too," Rundle said.
After the club confirmed the disappointing news of a syndesmosis injury to star forward Jake Stringer, Rundle said the premiership player would complete his rehabilitation program in Melbourne following recent surgery.
“Jake landed awkwardly in a marking contest late in the game against Collingwood. He sustained what’s commonly called a high-ankle sprain, or a syndesmosis injury,” Rundle said.
“He underwent surgery on Sunday to enhance the stability of that joint. He’s in a moon boot now and will be for the next couple of weeks.
"Jake will remain in Melbourne with some of our longer-term injured players, like Patrick Ambrose, who as we know, sustained a Lisfranc injury. We are adopting a conservative approach to managing this injury and he will remain in a boot for the next six weeks before we start to load the foot again."
INJURY LIST - RD 6:
|Tom Cutler||Calf||1-2 weeks|
|Kobe Mutch||Wrist||1 week|
|Jake Stringer||Syndesmosis||6-8 weeks|
|Updated Tuesday, July 7|