Bomber trio will play says Hird - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Bomber trio will play says Hird

Robert Grant 10/06/2011 02:16:53 PM Comments (0)

Essendon coach James Hird insists he is not taking any risks in playing a trio of injured players who are back for Sunday's AFL clash with Fremantle.

Bombers' captain Jobe Watson, forward Michael Hurley and midfielder Andrew Welsh will all line-up against the Dockers at Patersons Stadium on Sunday.

Welsh will be playing his first game of the year following a calf injury while Hurley and Watson have been on the sidelines for the past four matches.

However, Hird opted in favour of expertise and knowledge, while maintaining the risk of another injury was small.

"It's great to have some experience back in our team and some really good talent come back," Hird said.

"I think whenever you bring a player back from a hamstring injury or a calf injury there's always a slight element of risk.

"But Andrew Welsh - this is his fourth week of training; Jobe's in his fourth week off a hamstring which should be enough (and) Michael's four or five weeks off a calf.

"So we've given them plenty of time, we've trained them hard in the last couple of weeks specifically so they can play and not be at risk of injury.

"There's always that slight risk, but we hope we get through unscathed," he said.

Welsh was set to play against the Gold Coast in round six but injured his calf in the warm-up.

Hird said he was a key player for the club.

"Andrew brings a tough contest at the ball, his experience, and his ability to defend the ground I think is really important for us.

"We dont expect Andrew to have 100 possessions and kick 10 goals, but we expect him to contribute to the team like everybody else," Hird said.

The Bombers have not yet settled on how many talls to play but said the fact that Fremantle would be without star ruckman Aaron Sandilands was irrelevant.

"We'll reserve our decision for a day or so. We're still in two minds, whether to play them or not.

"The great thing about them is, we've got three quality tallplayers who have all played well at different stages of games. Whoever misses out will be unlucky, but we're still weighing it up.

"Aaron's obviously a great player and we're lucky he's not playing on Sunday, but it doesn't influence it at all," Hird said. "It's really about us and the best mix for us."

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