Essendon defender Conor McKenna remains in contention for senior selection this weekend, despite fracturing his hand during the Bombers' victory over North Melbourne on Saturday night.

Head of medical services David Rundle said the 24-year-old would undergo surgery on Tuesday and face fitness testing later in the week to determine his availability for the clash with the Western Bulldogs under Friday night lights at Metricon Stadium. 

“As we know, Conor fractured his hand during our game against North Melbourne. He is a pretty tough character and managed to play out the game, so he’ll have surgery today where they’ll insert a plate to reduce that fracture,” Rundle said. 

“Obviously, this week is a tight turnaround ahead of our game on Friday night so we’ll see how he responds to the operation and we’ll assess his functional ability later in the week before we decide whether he can play or not.” 

02:00 Mins
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Injury update | Rd 7

Head of medical services David Rundle provides an update on our injured players ahead of round seven.

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Rundle confirmed Essendon forward Joe Daniher had suffered a slight setback in his rehabilitation program, with scans late Monday confirming a minor calf strain, unrelated to his groin injury. 

“During our rehabilitation skills session on the weekend, unfortunately Joe felt some soreness in the calf, and we had that imaged (scanned) yesterday which confirmed a minor calf strain so that will mean he is off running for about 10 to 14 days,” he said. 

In good news for the Bombers, emerging ruckman Sam Draper got through Saturday’s scratch match unscathed as he makes his long-awaited comeback from an ACL reconstruction. 

“It was Sam’s first game back following his ACL reconstruction some 12 months ago. He felt really good during the game and has pulled up really well so we’ll continue to increase his game-time this week,” Rundle said.

01:27 Mins
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Scratch match | Sam Draper post-game

We caught up with returning ruckman Sam Draper following our scratch match against North Melbourne at Southport Sharks.

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Meanwhile, Tom Cutler (calf) and Kobe Mutch (wrist) will reintegrate into full training with the playing group and are likely to be available for selection this week.

“Tom is progressing really well in his recovery from a calf strain. He had a solid hitout in our rehab skills session on the weekend and he’ll integrate fully with the group this week. Provided all goes well, he will be available for selection,” Rundle said. 

“Kobe is continuing to progress well and we removed his wrist splint this week. He’s moving well and will integrate fully with the group meaning he will do contact training and he will also be available to play.”

Rundle also provided an update on the club’s captain Dyson Heppell as he continues his rehabilitation program from a foot injury. 

“We removed Dyson’s moon boot this week and he’s now walking freely. He’s focusing on increasing his ankle mobility and his strength and we know he’s still a fair way off running but he’s doing really well with his rehabilitation.”


Tom Cutler Calf Test
Conor McKenna Hand Test
Kobe Mutch Wrist Test
Jake Stringer Syndesmosis 5-7 weeks
Patrick Ambrose Foot Indefinite
Lachlan Johnson Knee Indefinite
Joe Daniher Groin/Calf Indefinite
Dyson Heppell Ankle Indefinite
Harrison Jones Foot Indefinite
Tom Hird Foot Indefinite
Updated Tuesday, July 14