Bombers may miss injured Lloyd, Ryder - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Bombers may miss injured Lloyd, Ryder

25/08/2009 04:51:43 PM Comments (0)

Key Essendon duo Matthew Lloyd and Paddy Ryder will have to "put the foot to the floor" at training to win selection for Saturday's cut-throat shoot-out against premier Hawthorn.

The injured pair will not be included unless they prove they are close to 100 per cent fit at training later this week, according to coach Matthew Knights.

The winner of the Essendon-Hawthorn clash will claim a finals spot.

Lloyd is battling a heel injury while Ryder missed last week's loss to Fremantle because of a knee problem.

Knights said he would not risk naming either player unless they were at virtual full fitness.

"I would have thought both Matthew Lloyd and Patrick Ryder are progressing well but on Thursday and Friday they are going to have to put the foot to the floor with the intensity on the training track," Knights said on Tuesday.

"Both are moving forward however it's not a fait accompli that they're going to play.

"We won't know that until they get up to 90-95-100 per cent top end speed - because both have got injuries that you've got to be able to go top end speed.

"I'm pretty sure this game on Saturday's going to be really, really hot so therefore they're going to have to be physically ready to play and we won't know that until Thursday or Friday at least," he said.

"In the positions they play, if you look at Ryder's position - it's the most demanding position on the ground to bang bodies and jump and get back on the deck so he's going to have to be pretty sound definitely.

"Lloydie's position's a touch different because he's looking at take-off speed and jumping and so forth so, with a heel, that's paramount.

"Both positions are pretty demanding so that's why I believe they've got to feel pretty good about themselves going into the game.

"If they did come up and play it would be a good filip for the team.

"They're obviously very important players to our structure and we'd love them to be in the 22 but it's a case of their bodies really coming up.

"I guess there are still a few question marks on those two boys."

Knights admitted that Essendon were never in the game against lowly Fremantle last week, having beaten pacesetters St Kilda the previous week.

But he said the team reflected only briefly on the loss, which he put down to the dominance of Docker Aaron Sandilands in the ruck.

"We did speak about it briefly and I think you have to as a group. I spoke after the game pretty candidly.

"We had a five minute discussion about it on Monday and then it was all about the great opportunity of playing Hawthorn this week, the situation we're in and there's going to be a huge crowd there and the stakes are really high.

"I think that generated some enthusiasm and spirit again pretty quickly. The great thing about this young team is they've been able to bounce a little bit after disappointing performances," he said.

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