Lloyd tipped to return for Bombers - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Lloyd tipped to return for Bombers

By Adam Cooper and Melissa Woods 24/08/2009 08:50:39 PM Comments (0)

Essendon skipper Matthew Lloyd is set to return for Saturday's must-win AFL battle against Hawthorn, but it appears season over for fellow forward Alwyn Davey.

Lloyd has missed the past four games because of a bruised heel but told teammates he is confident of playing in the round-22 clash at the MCG, where the winner will claim eighth spot and the last place in the finals.

In a further boost, big man Paddy Ryder (knee) could return earlier than expected, while midfielder Kyle Reimers (hamstring) is also a chance.

But Essendon confirmed on Monday night Davey's shoulder injury would keep him sidelined for two weeks and possibly four, which means the Dons would need to reach the finals and progress well into the series for him to play again in 2009.

Davey has played 20 of 21 games this season after he suffered a serious knee injury last year, but the speedy forward cannot lift his arm because of a damaged A/C joint.

Essendon football operations manager Paul Hamilton said the Bombers were awaiting a report from a shoulder specialist.

"There is very little he can do other than rest over the first couple of days," Hamilton said.

"He is very sore and can't lift his arm up at this stage, so we will give him a period of rest.

"Once it is rested up and the swelling has gone down, we will start working on some basic movement patterns and build it up from there.

"We are disappointed that Alwyn is not going to be available because he is a very valuable player for us."

Essendon midfielder Mark McVeigh said Lloyd was a good chance to return.

"Just speaking to him, he's really confident he'll play,' McVeigh said.

"He'll train all week so apart from pulling up sore, he'll probably be available.

"To have our captain back is really important, you want your best players on the park."

McVeigh said because of the importance of the match, Lloyd and Ryder were likely to play even if they were not fully fit.

"I reckon you'd play them at 85-90 per cent ... with Lloyd coming in he's so professional in his approach to the game and his rehabilitation," he said.

"He may be five to 10 per cent off but you'd still want him out there."

If he plays, the Bombers will relish the early return of Ryder - whose season looked over when he was injured in the round-20 win over St Kilda - after Fremantle ruck Aaron Sandilands dominated Sunday's game at Subiaco.

"I was just talking to Paddy Ryder and he's going to really have a good crack at it and he's pretty confident which is great," McVeigh said.

"To get him back and get some more strength in our ruck.

"We had two young ruckmen on the weekend. It's a huge plus for us."

McVeigh likened Saturday's clash as the club's biggest since 2004, when it last reached the finals.

"It's one of those things when you know a chance (the loss to Fremantle) has gone begging but we're still in the hunt and we can't dwell on it too much," he said.

"We have to move on and look forward to Hawthorn.

"Hawthorn's a huge challenge and if we win we play finals and you forget about losing to Fremantle."

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