Stanton out but Dons won't risk McVeigh - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Stanton out but Dons won't risk McVeigh

Guy Hand 15/04/2010 06:30:41 PM Comments (0)

Essendon won't risk midfielder Mark McVeigh in their AFL clash with West Coast at Subiaco Oval on Friday night despite losing important onballer Brent Stanton to a back injury.

McVeigh was rated some chance of returning to play the Eagles, even though he spent five days in hospital last week with blood poisoning after a cut in his elbow became infected.

But the Bombers decided caution was key with the experienced midfielder and left him behind when they flew to Perth on Thursday.

McVeigh trained with the club's reserves on Thursday and is instead likely to line up for Essendon's VFL affiliate Bendigo Bombers on Sunday.

"His elbow isn't too bad but he needs to play some football, to get some touch in," Bombers assistant coach Ashley Prescott said.

"It's affected his preparation a little bit too much to send him around this week.

"It looks like he'll play in the VFL this week."

Ball magnet Stanton was ruled out ahead of the trip to Perth with a back problem, opening the way for Michael Hurley to return after a club-imposed suspension following his alleged assault on a taxi driver.

And the Bombers look set to deploy Hurley in the forward line - the 19-year-old coming into the match off a four-goal best-on-ground effort in the VFL last weekend.

"We are not expecting a lot from Hurley other than he competes and does his best," Prescott said.

"He certainly adds another option up forward ... it's where he's been doing a lot of his playing through the pre-season and back at the Bendigo Bombers."

Essendon opened their winning account for the season by beating Carlton last weekend, while West Coast are win-less in their opening three games though they have been competitive in all.

Pivotal to the contest may be the battle in the ruck, where Bombers duo David Hille and Paddy Ryder take on Dean Cox and rising star Nic Naitanui.

Cox had a welcome return to form in the Eagles' loss to North Melbourne last weekend, while Naitanui has been red-hot since the pre-season.

"It's really exciting to have Cox, Naitanui and Hille and Ryder and we're in for a real mouth-watering battle. Whoever comes out on top in that area will play a real key in who wins the game," Prescott said.

"(It's a) massive game. Last week against Carlton was a positive step but to go over and lose to West Coast would really cancel that out."

West Coast have made two changes, with young midfielder Luke Shuey out with a knee injury and Tom Swift dropped.

Pat McGinnity and mature-aged rookie Ashton Hams have been promoted.

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