Essendon trio sidelined for extended period

    A cruel series of injuries are set to open opportunities for several uncapped Bombers.

    Mitch Keating

    Essendon have been hit with a cruel series of injuries following their loss to Port Adelaide on Saturday, with ruckman Sam Draper and midfield duo Dylan Shiel and Jye Caldwell all set to be sidelined for a lengthy period.

    Shiel sustained meniscal damage towards the end of the match and is set to undergo a knee arthroscopy this week and will be sidelined for at least a month.

    “Dylan will be required to have a knee arthroscopy and we will know more about the timeframes for his return following this procedure over the coming days. At this stage, we don’t anticipate he will return to the field for at least the next four to six weeks but we will continue to monitor him closely this week and see how he progresses,” Bombers general manager Josh Mahoney said, per the club website.

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    Caldwell was subbed out of Saturday's match at Adelaide Oval after straining his hamstring during a kick and is now expected to miss up to eight weeks.

    “Scans confirmed that Jye sustained a more significant hamstring strain, and we will see how he progresses over the next week, but unfortunately we expect him to miss the next six to eight weeks of football," Mahoney added.

    Draper is set to spend the next eight to 10 weeks on the sidelines after suffering from a syndesmosis injury.

    “Sam will see a specialist in the coming days with confirmation of a syndesmosis injury, but we are hopeful he will be back and playing for the second half of the season," Mahoney said.

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    “While these injuries are disappointing and will test our depth over the coming weeks, it provides opportunities for others to step up and contribute strongly to our side this weekend and beyond.”

    The Bombers will now look ahead to their clash against St Kilda on Saturday, with uncapped duo Archie Perkins and Nick Bryan now in line to make their debuts.
    Essendon Bombers Media Opportunity & Training Session
    MELBOURNE, AUSTRALIA - JANUARY 21: Archie Perkins of the Bombers (C) in action during an Essendon Bombers AFL media opportunity at The Hangar on January 21, 2021 in Melbourne, Australia. (Photo by Daniel Pockett/Getty Images)
    Perkins was a top 10 selection for Essendon in last year's draft, while Bryan is likely to take over the ruck duties in Draper's absence as Andrew Phillips remains sidelined through injury.
    Essendon will also welcome back captain Dyson Heppell, who was a late withdrawal from the Round 2 clash with a back complaint.