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Bombers hope to regain Watson, Hurley

30/05/2011 10:24:18 PM Comments (0)

Essendon hope to regain captain Jobe Watson and tall utility Michael Hurley for Friday night's AFL match against Melbourne.

The Bombers also say Scott Gumbleton and Andrew Welsh are set to follow long-term absentee Tayte Pears in returning to football through the VFL.

Watson (hamstring) and Hurley (calf) missed their round-nine loss to Richmond, with the Bombers having the bye last weekend.

Essendon say they will have fitness tests before Friday's match.

"Both those lads are recovering really well," Essendon football manager Paul Hamilton said on the club website on Monday.

"They're both very professional with their rehab and are doing all the right things.

"While there are obviously no guarantees they will be available this weekend, we will test them later in the week and make a decision."

Pears, Gumbleton and Welsh are yet to play senior football this season.

Pears made a successful return from a foot injury last weekend in the VFL, while Hamilton said Gumbleton (hamstring) and Welsh (calf) were also on the verge of playing again.

But the trio will have to cool their heels for a week because the Bendigo Bombers have the VFL bye.

"We might have Pears playing centre half-back and Gumbleton centre half-forward for our VFL side next week which is really exciting and hopefully we can get them both back up and playing some really good football for the second half of the year," Hamilton said.

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