ESSENDON has been dealt a blow as it looks to kick-start its season, with key defender Michael Hurley expected to be sidelined for at least two weeks with a hamstring injury sustained in the 13-point loss to Carlton at the Melbourne Cricket Ground
The dual All Australian spent the final stages of the defeat on the interchange bench after cramping up late in last Saturday’s game.
Although Bombers high performance manager Justin Crow said the strain was minor, Hurley, 27 is set to be out of action for multiple weeks.
“Obviously we scanned that, he’s got a hamstring strain. It’s a bleed from the interface between the hamstring muscles with very little muscle fibre involvement, which is a good thing in that it helps the prognosis,” said Crow.
“He’ll definitely miss this week, most likely he’ll miss two games, but it’s not impossible he’ll do a little bit better or a little bit slower depending on how he tracks over the next few sessions.”
Emerging star Andrew McGrath will miss at least another game with his calf injury, while Jake Stringer was sent for scans on Tuesday, but should be right to play in Saturday’s crunch clash against Geelong at the home of football.
“Jake has a little bit of back stiffness out of the game (against the Blues),” Crow said.
“(There is) nothing we’re particularly concerned by, we just want to get a really good idea of what’s going on in there like we would with all our players as we learn more and more about Jake and his body.”
Meanwhile, Josh Green is in the frame to play after overcoming his hamstring injury suffered in the Anzac Day loss to Collingwood, but the former Lion will first have to get through Wednesday’s main training session.
Touted as a top-four contender after the off-season acquisitions of Devon Smith, Adam Saad and Stringer, the Bombers find themselves languishing in 15th spot on the AFL ladder with just the two wins from eight starts.