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Bombers lose Reimers for eight weeks

27/04/2010 04:11:12 PM Comments (0)

Essendon have been hit with their second major injury issue in as many days as pressure builds on the club after a dismal start to the season.

The Bombers learnt on Tuesday that forward Kyle Reimers had broken his hand during the big defeat by Collingwood in Sunday's Anzac Day game.

Reimers is likely to miss two months, according to coach Matthew Knights, who described the club's predicament as "a bump".

The news compounds the loss of defender Tayte Pears, who fractured his arm in the same match and could be sidelined for up to eight weeks as well.

After scraping into the finals last season the Bombers have made a 1-4 start and are gradually watching the finals disappear into the distance.

But Knights dismisses the notion he is starting to feel the heat.

"The reality is the only pressure I've got is to be there for my players, to guide them, to keep taking them on this journey," he said.

"We realise there were going to be bumps and hurdles when we started two years ago. We've hit a bump at the moment, that's a fact, but that's not to say we're not going to keep pushing and come out the other side."

Despite their disappointing start to the season, Knights indicated the club still had its eye on the finals.

"Our focus is playing better this week and it's only early ... there's plenty of the season to be run and won," he said.

"We'll be positive going into our game this week and what flows from that we'll see.

"We've still got high expectations of ourselves as we should being a big, powerful club," he said.

Knights admitted Essendon's injuries would weaken the side but was confident they could patch up the gaps ahead of next week's highly anticipated clash with major rival Hawthorn, also struggling on a 1-4 record.

"It's a couple of blows for really good players who are showing a bit at this stage of their careers," Knights said.

"They're going to have a stint on the sidelines and come back and make an impact later in the year."

Essendon now have the problem of dealing with a reinforced Hawthorn forward line with Jarryd Roughead likely to be free to rejoin Lance Franklin in attack following the expected return of ruckman Brent Renouf.

"We've still got Dustin (Fletcher) and Cale (Hooker) down there, both six-foot-five in their own right," Knights said.

"Young Tyson Slattery is going really well in the VFL and Kyle Hartigan, who can play a bit taller, so we just have to adjust and put 22 out there that are fit and healthy and we'll go with them."

"I think we've got some flexibility there.

"Tayte's been in great form, he's been one of the standouts in the last year-and-a-half so he will be a loss but I'm pretty confident the other guys can do well."

But he said former Hawk Mark Williams, who missed Anzac Day because of an ankle injury, was unlikely to return to the side for the MCG clash.

Meanwhile Carlton have paid for their upset win over premiers Geelong with star defender Andrew Walker set for surgery on Tuesday after it was confirmed he suffered a broken collarbone during the game.

Walker is not expected to be fit to rejoin the side until early in the second half of the season.

The 23-year-old has had his career severely disrupted in the past few years with two shoulder operations.

Walker's injury happened after he landed heavily on his right shoulder following a marking contest in the third quarter of the game.

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