Bombers' McVeigh back from suspension - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Bombers' McVeigh back from suspension

By Sam Lienert 08/07/2009 01:27:07 PM Comments (0)

Essendon coach Matthew Knights says experienced midfielder Mark McVeigh will return to the AFL side for Saturday's match against Sydney at the SCG.

But fellow midfielder Jobe Watson is no certainty to play as he battles an ankle injury.

McVeigh missed last Friday night's loss to Collingwood with a club-imposed suspension, after missing the previous round because of a striking ban.

He was due to play in the VFL last weekend, but soreness prevented him from doing so.

"Mark will definitely come back into the line-up, he obviously missed last week," Knights said.

"He was a little bit sore late last week, he obviously trained pretty hard and wanted to get going again and he pushes himself pretty hard on the track, so he got a little bit sore and he didn't play in the VFL.

"We just felt if we put him out there under soreness we might run the risk of him doing something so he will definitely come back into the senior line-up and is keen to do well."

Knights said he did not feel McVeigh owed anything to the team, despite the Bombers feeling his absence in the loss to the Magpies after the club banned him for going out drinking then missing a training session.

"Mark's been a great player for this footy club," Knights said.

"Has he had many blemishes off-field? No he hasn't, he made a mistake, we deal with it, we get on with it, he doesn't owe the club anything."

Watson missed the Collingwood match and Knights said he would need to prove he had fully recovered to play against the Swans.

"He would have to train really well Friday and at this stage he's no guarantee to play," Knights said.

"He's certainly made significant ground and is running well in straight lines and has built his pace up.

"But he hasn't done any off-line work at the moment, so that will come later in the week.

"He's not a guarantee and I won't be playing him unless he's 100 per cent fit."

The match will have a significant bearing on both clubs' finals hopes, with the eighth-placed Bombers one win and a small percentage gap clear of the 10th-placed Swans, who have won their four previous games at the SCG this season.

"It's a big challenge for us to go up to the SCG and play the Swans, who are a very strong team and they will make you earn everything," Knights said.

"It's going to be a great contest, particularly for us to bounce back after it was a fairly disappointing result last week, Collingwood clearly outplayed us in periods of the game and they got away.

"We're looking to bounce back."

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