Essendon could regain Michael Hurley for its season-ending clash with Melbourne at Metricon Stadium on Saturday.

An ongoing ankle issue forced the experienced backman to miss Saturday’s clash with Port Adelaide, with a fitness test later in the week to determine his availability to face the Demons.

“Michael originally injured his ankle against Richmond in our game in Darwin. He re-aggravated it against Geelong and pulled up quite sore,” head of medical services David Rundle said.

“He was not able to train effectively last week, so he was unavailable to play against Port Adelaide. He has made good progress over the past few days and ran well today.

“We will see how the ankle responds to the main training session later in the week before determining his availability to play.” 

Captain Dyson Heppell had surgery in Brisbane on Monday to fix an issue with a screw in the ankle he fractured in June. 

Rundle said he expected the 28-year-old to have an uninterrupted start to pre-season ahead of the 2021 season. 

“Dyson was unavailable for selection for last week’s game due to a complication with his ankle,” he said. 

“He underwent surgery yesterday to remove a screw from the ankle that had been used to stabilise the fracture he sustained earlier in the season. This screw had backed out a little bit and was rubbing on his peroneal tendons and causing pain. He then had new screws re-inserted. 

“He will be in plaster for the next two weeks before being placed into a boot. It is expected he will resume running in around 10 weeks and should be able to commence pre-season with the main group in January.” 

Meanwhile, Rundle said Jayden Laverde (syndesmosis), Aaron Francis (hamstring) and Ned Cahill (quad) had all pulled up well in their returns from injury during Friday’s scratch match against St Kilda.

The Bombers will name their line-up to face the Demons at 6:20pm AEST on Friday.

INJURY LIST: ROUND 18  

PLAYER

INJURY

DURATION

Michael Hurley

Ankle

Test

Dyson Heppell

Ankle

Season

Orazio Fantasia

Calf

Season

Andrew McGrath

Syndesmosis

Season

Patrick Ambrose

Foot

Season

Lachlan Johnson

Knee

Season

Tom Hird

Foot

Season

David Zaharakis

Quad

Season

Irving Mosquito

Knee

Season

Updated Tuesday, September 15