Injury Updates


Mystery solved.



JD, Bags, Lav available

Smack next week

Brown & Gleeson not far off

Raz after the bye

Dev cooked




Goalkickers set to return

Conor Walsh

May 21, 2019 3:35PM

BTV: SKINS Injury Update - Rd 10

With Physical Performance Manager, Justin Crow.

There are a number of players returning to our AFL and VFL squads this week.”
Justin Crow


Essendon physical performance manager Justin Crow says the decision to send star onballer Devon Smith for surgery has been made with the 2020 season in mind.

The procedure early next week will put Smith out of action for the remainder of this season, but the club is hopeful it will free up the 2018 Crichton Medal winner in the future by killing two birds with one stone.

“Two weeks ago, Devon had that fresh injury to his trochlea under his knee cap, after which we’ve got him to see the surgeon yesterday after returning from overseas and he had a good look at that,” Crow said on the SKINS Injury Update.

“There’s the underlying issue of Dev’s knee being PCL deficient, which is a long-term issue that he’s had.

“The decision has been made to address the trochlea with surgery, but at the same time we’re going to do a PCL reconstruction to try to improve the stability of that knee and hopefully improve the ability of that knee to help withstand AFL workloads.

“So that means that Devon will be in for surgery early next week, he’ll be rehabilitating, hopefully he’ll be back running at around the 12-week mark.

“He won’t be available again this season, but what we’re hoping is that he has a good pre-season heading into 2020.”

Devon Smith’s season is over, with the midfielder set for surgery next week. (Image: AFL Photos)

In better news, a string of Bombers are on the cusp of returning from the sidelines including experienced trio Shaun McKernan, Mitch Brown and Marty Gleeson.

“Shaun McKernan will train with the main group tomorrow, he’s been training with the group now for two weeks. We’re expecting him to be available to play, all going well in that session.

“Mitch Brown is a test with his wrist. If he gets that final tick off and gets through training without issue, he’ll be available.

“The other player who had the facial fracture is Marty Gleeson. He’s now got the all clear, he will train with the main group and, again, without any incident he’ll then be available to play.”

Shaun McKernan has progressed well and is likely to take the field this week. (Image: AFL Photos)

Exciting young Dons Tuth “Tom” Jok and Trent Mynott are also in the mix ahead of Essendon’s VFL clash with Richmond at Punt Road on Saturday.

“Tuth Jok has been building back up after an issue with his tibiofibular joint in his leg. That’s now a lot better, he’s training with the main group as well tomorrow and we’re optimistic that he’ll play this weekend,” Crow said.

“Trent Mynott, after his calf issue, is another test. He’ll train, we’re hopeful he’ll play.

“As you can see, there are a number of players returning to our AFL and VFL squads this week.”

James Stewart has been off the scene with a groin issue, but Crow said the key forward has taken a number of positive steps towards his return.

“James has been progressing a lot better in this last fortnight, he’s now building his running back up.

“We’re looking to see him do bits of training with the main group this week and then we’ll be making a judgement about how quickly we bring him back in to play, whether it’s next week or after that.”

James Stewart is patiently edging closer to a return. (Image: AFL Photos)

Damaging forward Orazio Fantasia has also kicked off his rehabilitation well following a quad injury suffered against the Swans in round eight, but he is still most likely to return following the club’s upcoming bye.

“He’s made good early progress. He’s back doing some good volume of running.

“We think it’s unlikely he returns before the mid-season break, but at the moment all signs are positive in his recovery.”

Long-term injured Bomber Kobe Mutch continues to chip away at his own rehabilitation from a serious hamstring injury, with his approximate return five to six weeks away.

“Kobe, in terms of his recovery, is just past the halfway mark – he’s seven weeks into what is likely to be a 12-week injury.

“We’ll keep monitoring his progress as he builds through that end-stage rehab over the next month.”

The club is set for a Dreamtime triple header in Richmond on Saturday with the VFL and VFLW Dons taking on the Tigers before the senior side takes the field for the Dreamtime at the G clash, which will begin at 7:25pm.


That is a really exciting set of blokes hopefully available for the VFL side this weekend.


All excellent at VFL level.


And half of them proven at AFL level.


Per my discussions with the individual players last night: Jok playing this week, Smack playing this week, Stewart one more week out.



Hate that turd.


That is some injury list, Collingwood 14, Gold Coast Suns 15 and Melbourne 17 by far the most injuries and several other teams all with 10 injuries each. Is this more than last season?


They need to all sack their everyone.


We only have five players definitely missing this week, with 2 of them back after the bye.

Last week we had 10 out with players like Begley, Laverde and ZClarke only just back. So our injury fortunes are improving in number, but losing Dev and Sammy have been big blows in different ways.

May the injury and form God’s smile on us for the rest of the season.


Have developed a fatalistic approach to injuries, in that they’re going to happen and no amount of bleating or angst will change it. Even the fabled medical/fitness team at the Hawthorn FC are copping an unusually heavy toll this year.

Mind you, I’ve never understood why Essendon waste so much time resting an injury when the option to operate provides a more favourable outcome in terms of recovery and timelines? Frustrating.

With Daniher and Fantasia I’m hoping they’ll do a Jobe in that, he was injury prone early in his career but rarely missed after the those setbacks.

There is concern with McKernan getting repeat soft tissue injuries though. If he plays this week I half expect him to breakdown down again or at least breakdown after a handful of games. There will always be trepidation whenever he takes the field. Thankfully, Brown is pretty resilient, so at least there’s some continuity there.


Is this like what happens in horse racing?


That gif needs to go


What’s the deal with salary cap relief for injured players? Do we get their full salary covered? Match fees only?


Because conservative treatment actually has shorter return to play times and similar prognosis to surgery in most circumstances?


Reckon some people view ‘operation’ as some sort of computer game outcome for footy injuries. As if operation = precisely X weeks with no long term risk at all from surgical invasion.


Star could take on Blues

Conor Walsh

Star Bomber Dylan Shiel remains a chance to take on Carlton at the MCG on Sunday with scans confirming he has not torn his hamstring.

Shiel came off the field in the final term of Essendon’s Dreamtime at the ‘G loss to Richmond on Saturday and failed to return, but club physical performance manager Justin Crow said the onballer has not been ruled out of the clash with the Blues.

“We scanned his hamstring and it shows muscle edema, but no tear, so where that leaves us is to treat him clinically,” Crow said on the SKINS Injury Update on Tuesday.

“We’ll be building him up through the week, seeing how he goes in a clinical sense and in a functional training sense, and then making a decision later in the week about whether or not we play him this weekend.”

Powerful Bomber Jake Stringer has not been so lucky with his own hamstring injury, which he suffered in the second term of the same match.

“Jake Stringer has a hamstring strain, it’s small and low grade, but he will need the usual amount of time to get that better.

“If he played against Hawthorn (in round 13), that’s 20 days (after the injury), which is about right for a normal hamstring.

“Obviously it will depend how he progresses over the next week or so whether or not he gets back in time for that game or the one following.”

Jake Stringer is set for a stint on the sidelines after suffering a hamstring strain. (Image: AFL Photos)

Fellow forward Mitch Brown will need to prove his fitness this week after suffering some wrist soreness in the dying stages of the VFL side’s narrow loss to Richmond on Saturday.

It was Brown’s first game back since breaking his radius in the same arm, but Crow said scans have cleared the 28-year-old of any damage.

“In the last minute of the game, Mitch fell on his outstretched hand on the same side that he fractured the end of his radius near his wrist,” he said.

“Mitch was sore after the game and also the next day. We had it scanned and he’s done no further damage.

“We’ll be seeing how sore he is through this week and whether or not he can get up for training on Thursday, and hopefully he can get up to play on the weekend.”

Mitch Brown competes for the ball at the Swinburne Centre on Saturday. (Image: AFL Photos)

Devon Smith (knee) and Joe Daniher (groin) are both undergoing surgery on Tuesday and Crow clarified the club’s decision to change its approach to Daniher’s osteitis pubis after being conservative with the same issue last year.

“As we know, he was given the advice last year that surgery was an option. We’ve got through to this point where our conservative options are exhausted.

“After a few games he started to show some signs he wasn’t going in the right direction, so he’s gone in for surgery today and we’ll be waiting again for the specialist post-operation to give us the guide to how he progresses from here.”

Joe Daniher has been sent for surgery on Tuesday. (Image: AFL Photos)

Meanwhile, Crow said forwards Orazio Fantasia (quad) and James Stewart (groin) are eyeing off a return following next week’s mid-season bye when the Bombers take on the Hawks on June 14.

“‘Raz’ is on track for that return after the bye; he’s doing more running and more football work this week and then obviously building up through that mid-season break period into the game against the Hawks.

“We saw James do part of training last week. He’ll do more of training this week and we’re still targeting that week after the bye.”

Kobe Mutch continues to build up his training load as he looks to return to the field in four weeks following a significant hamstring injury, while Sam Draper (ACL) wraps up the injury list and won’t return for the remainder of the year.


Also posted this in Joe’s thread.