Bombers coach hopeful of Lloyd return - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Bombers coach hopeful of Lloyd return

By Justin Chadwick 24/08/2009 07:05:40 AM Comments (0)

Essendon coach Matthew Knights is hopeful forward Matthew Lloyd will return for Saturday's must-win blockbuster against Hawthorn at the MCG.

But the Bombers could enter the match without Alwyn Davey after the speedster injured his shoulder late in Essendon's 54-point loss to Fremantle on Sunday.

Davey, who was left nursing his left shoulder after landing heavily on the Subiaco Oval turf, will undergo scans on Monday to determine the extent of the damage.

But Knights declared Jobe Watson a certain starter against the Hawks despite the Essendon ball magnet aggravating an old ankle injury.

Lloyd has missed the past four games with a heel complaint but Knights said the Essendon skipper had made good progress over the past week.

"He certainly moved a lot better this week and his straight line running was excellent, but it was just a little bit of the off line and cutting (that he struggled with)," Knights said.

"But we're assuming that will come up even better this week.,

"I'm pretty sure he'll come up for selection but there's another couple of training sessions to get through yet.

"When you've got a Matthew Lloyd coming into your side at any time it's invaluable but again we have to cross those hurdles of those training sessions.

"With the heel injury he looked really good on occasions and then he took a step back at some stage when he pulled up sore.

"With the position he plays in he's got to have that explosive speed and be able to jump for the ball.

"He needs to be nearly 100 per cent right to come through."

Watson had just six possessions against the Dockers after hurting his ankle midway through the second term.

"He was favouring his leg a bit in the end but I spoke to him briefly and he said he would be right for next week," Knights said.

Knights said ruckman Paddy Ryder was an outside chance to return from a knee injury.

"Patrick was walking fairly fluently," he said.

"He's done everything in his power in rehab ... I'll be giving him every opportunity to come up."

Essendon must defeat Hawthorn to sneak into eighth spot.

"You look forward to the occasion and it's going to be a massive match," Knights said.

"There's so much riding on it.

"We are playing last year's premiers, so if we get over (and make the finals) I think we'll deserve it."

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