Bellchambers injury rocks Bombers ruck - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Bellchambers injury rocks Bombers ruck

By Adam Cooper 01/06/2009 04:49:51 PM Comments (0)

Essendon will be forced to gamble with their ruck division in Sunday's AFL game against Adelaide because of a fresh knee injury suffered by Tom Bellchambers.

He will be sidelined for six weeks after being hurt in Sunday's 64-point loss to Geelong, although the Bombers are relieved the injury is not far worse.

But his absence, on top of the season-ending knee injury David Hille suffered on Anzac Day, means the Bombers must carefully consider how to handle stoppages against the Crows at Etihad Stadium.

Jason Laycock has played only one VFL game since overcoming foot problems dating back to last year and the club's only other ruckman is rookie Christian Bock, 19, who has not played an AFL game.

Key defender Paddy Ryder has been used in the ruck since Hille was injured, but Bellchambers' setback means the Dons must come up with an option to help out Ryder.

Laycock played in the VFL on May 24 and performed well, but was rested on Sunday because he pulled up sore, and is no guarantee to play in either competition.

Defender Cale Hooker could be an option to provide relief for Ryder as he was used against the Cats, but the Bombers also have their injury concerns in the backline, as Dustin Fletcher (leg) remains sidelined.

Despite the selection conundrum, the Bombers breathed easier knowing Bellchambers, aged 19 and with only seven games to his name, would not need surgery and had escaped with bone bruising and minor ligament damage.

"The MRI result is quite good news because Tom won't require an operation," football operations manager Paul Hamilton said.

"He will rest his knee for the next few weeks and undergo rehabilitation.

"We are very pleased that Tom hasn't done any serious cartilage or ligament damage and he will be available for most of the second half of the season."

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