No, I wasnt there, but in the absence of any report from the club, Blitzers or who ever, the AFL media have reported on the training and quoted Skippy
on the way things are going.
This thread is a PUN FREE ZONE
ESSENDON coaches hope most of their returning players will get significant game-time in the JLT Community Series, but concede there is a ‘high risk’ of soft tissue injuries.
Jobe Watson’s presence was unmissable as the Bombers took part in match simulation at Tullamarine on Wednesday morning, and he looks set to spend more time closer to goal.
“He’s been pushing forward – we had a little bit of match play today and he kicked a couple of goals,” performance coach Hayden Skipworth said after the two-hour session.
“He’s impacting in the midfield and forward at the moment and he’s in a really good headspace as well.”
Most of the other returning players took part, with Cale Hooker the big exception.
He ran laps on the secondary oval, but Skipworth hasn’t ruled out the tall from taking part in at least one pre-season hit out.
“We’re just de-loading him. He’s a guy that pushes the envelope, we’ve just got to make sure that we don’t risk him to miss the start of the season.”
Tom Bellchambers is also in the rehab group, but is said to be progressing well after another knee cleanout.
There are so many unknowns about Essendon as it enters 2017 with its fully replenished list.
Atop the list is how the returning stars will adjust to being back at the highest level.
“There’s definitely high risk,” Skipworth said when asked about the prospect of soft-tissue injuries.
"We’re managing a few different groups at the moment. We’ve got our first- to third-year players that we’ve put on load restrictions; we’ve got our returning 10 guys as well that we’re monitoring very closely at the moment.
"Ideally we’d play them all three (pre-season games); we’ve got good breaks in between.
"We’ve just had guys that haven’t played together, so ideally, selfishly from a coaches’ point of view, you’d like to have all the guys play the three games and just monitor the loads throughout.
"We’ll take an individual approach, and hopefully we can get most of the guys out there so we’re right to go round one.
Joe Daniher didn’t take part in the session, but having recovered from a knee injury he’ll return to the track on Monday.
“He’ll be back into training flat out,” Skipworth said.
Top draft pick Andy McGrath could even make a play for a round-one debut.
“There’s no pressure on him to play round one, we’re just slowly building him into the program as well trying to limit his risk of injury,” Skipworth said.
"He’ll be right around (the mark for) selection round one, that’s for sure.
The Bombers players have a four-day break, beginning with Australia Day.
The process to select a captain is set to begin next week, with a decision expected in mid-February.
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