Essendon's Hille struck by stingray - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Essendon's Hille struck by stingray

21/01/2009 04:11:04 PM Comments (0)

Essendon will lose ruckman David Hille for their first pre-season cup match after he became the latest in a series of AFL players to be stung by a stingray.

Hille was stung on the shin on Sunday at Melbourne's St Kilda beach while doing a private training session, and had to have surgery to remove the stingray's barb.

He is expected to return to training with his teammates on Friday.

But Bombers coach Matthew Knights ruled Hille out of Essendon's pre-season competition opener on February 13 against the Western Bulldogs in Darwin.

The 27-year-old has already missed several weeks of pre-season training because of a hamstring injury, and Knights feels it is not worth risking the ruckman, who is coming off a career-best season in 2008.

"It's nearly five weeks now where he's been out of the full program which isn't ideal and obviously he's coming off a cracking year where he was our best and fairest winner," Knights said on Wednesday.

"He'll be fine for round one of the AFL season but I would say this would make it very difficult for him to play in the first round of the NAB Cup, especially on top of the hamstring.

"We don't think there's any complications and David's feeling really good now."

Hille had the barb removed by a plastic surgeon after what is the third such incident to befall an AFL player over the past 12 months.

Star West Coast midfielder Daniel Kerr was stung just above his heel at St Kilda during a team recovery session last season.

And Western Bulldogs player Jarrad Grant was taken to hospital early last year when stung on the ankle at nearby Port Melbourne beach - also during team recovery.

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