Defender Aaron Francis will be a 50-50 chance to play in Essendon’s match against Carlton.
Francis was medically subbed out of the Bombers’ 24-point Anzac Day win over Collingwood in the second term after a heavy landing on his ankle proved too painful to return to the field of play.
While the initial prognosis looked grim for the 23-year-old, head of high performance Sean Murphy said Francis has made very positive progress in his immediate recovery and could potentially line-up for Sunday’s clash with the Blues.
”‘Franc’ (Aaron Francis) unfortunately landed quite heavily on that ankle in that second quarter, he just wasn’t quite right to keep going,” Murphy told Dons Digital’s Performance Update.
“We tried to get him going, but he was quite uncomfortable, but he’s improved a lot in the first couple of days to get that swelling down on it.
“He’ll be a test this week, but we’re very hopeful we can give him the week and get him up for this week’s game.”
Another positive ahead of the Dons’ round seven fixture is the confirmed availability of reigning Crichton medallist Jordan Ridley, while fellow defender James Stewart is ready to return after injuring his hamstring in the AAMI Community Series.
After sustaining a head knock against Brisbane in round five and missing Essendon’s Anzac Day win due to AFL concussion protocols, Ridley has fully recovered and will be available for selection.
“Rids (Jordan Ridley) took it very easy during the week and we made sure we stuck to the protocols and got that right,” Murphy said.
“On the weekend, he completed a really solid session with ‘Stuz’ (James Stewart) as his sort of last little tick off.
“He’ll do a full week of training and be available (for Sunday).
"Stuz's last couple of weeks on the track have been excellent. This week will be his second of full skills, and last week he ticked off all the markers that we look for. He'll be available this week to play."
Young key defender Zach Reid will be unavailable for selection after developing tonsillitis following his AFL debut against Brisbane.
Murphy said the club will continue to monitor Reid’s situation and give the 19-year-old time to recover.
“Post the Brisbane game, he had a bit of tonsillitis early in the week and he didn’t do any training across the week due to that,” Murphy said.
“It may take a week or so to settle down and then we can get him going again, but he won’t be available this week.”
Murphy also touched on the progress of Jye Caldwell, Dylan Shiel and Sam Draper, while listing some impressive statistics from Anthony McDonald-Tipungwuti's and Devon Smith’s Anzac Day performances.
Watch round seven’s Performance Update below.
INJURY LIST - ROUND SEVEN
|Zach Reid||Illness||Medium term|
|Jye Caldwell||Hamstring||Medium term|
|Sam Draper||Ankle||Medium term|
|Dylan Clarke||Ankle||Medium term|
|Michael Hurley||Illness||Long term|
|Irving Mosquito||Knee||Long term|
|Kaine Baldwin||Knee||Long term|