We've got enough players: Bombers coach - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

We've got enough players: Bombers coach

By Robert Grant 22/07/2008 03:12:23 PM Comments (0)

Essendon coach Matthew Knights is not about to hit the panic button, despite the Bombers' chronic and growing injury list.

Knights insists he has enough players to choose from for Saturday's clash with Collingwood, despite a having to deal with a crowded sick bay.

There are 18 players on the sidelines now following injuries to Andrew Welsh (concussion), Angus Monfries (ankle) and Jay Neagle (ankle) while midfielder Andrew Lovett remains under club suspension for another week.

The sole bright spot is the likely return of veteran defender Dustin Fletcher, although there remains a query over his fitness.

"We've still got 26 available," Knights said on Tuesday. "It sounds like talking as a luxury - you only need 22. We're fine at the moment.

"We've still got fresh guys and fit guys to play so again no matter who we put out there I'd expect us to play some solid football against Collingwood."

Knights said he had become used to a sudden rush of injuries after the Bombers were hard-hit early in the season.

"After round three this year we had six or eight go down all of a sudden.

"It's not something I'm going to panic about. I'm calm about it.

"I've been through it earlier in the year and you've just got to endure with the players that you put out there with the confidence that they can get the job done," he said.

Fletcher was a late withdrawal from the team which lost to Richmond by four points last weekend while Monfries and Welsh have not yet been ruled out.

"We're pretty confident Dustin will be available. We're going to have to wait until Wednesday but I would have thought he would definitely come back in.

"It was an inflammation scenario with his ankle last week, it puffed up a little bit and he just couldn't put a lot of weight through it.

"But we think he'll be fine.

"Angus is endeavouring to get up but then Angus would endeavour to get up with four different injuries at the one time, that's Angus.

"I'm not sure whether he'll get over the line but that's just his appetite to play," Knights said.

"And Welshy will just have to get through training tomorrow because I'm not going to take any risks - he's got to have no headaches and be really clear.

"It was a pretty significant knock, he was in another world on Saturday."

Knights says he will not persist with players suffering on-going injuries and said Neagle was set to undergo surgery shortly rather than attempt to manage his injury.

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