AFL Barometer: Bomber’s fresh injury blow
ESSENDON livewire Orazio Fantasia has copped another injury setback.
Fantasia suffered a quad injury in Friday night's agonising loss to Sydney, which he starred in.
The forward was able to play out the match, kicking four goals from 11 disposals.
Essendon confirmed the latest blow on Monday morning, saying Fantasia would miss the next fortnight.
The Bombers play Fremantle (Marvel) and Richmond in the Dreamtime at the 'G' clash in the next two weeks.
"He was a bit sore and tender after the game, but we're not sure of the extent of it," Bombers football manager Dan Richardson said.
"After he cooled down he tightened up a bit. We'll get to the bottom of it this morning with the medical team.
"He's had a tough run."
Fantasia's lack of continuity would frustrate the Bombers. The quad problem is the latest issue to beset the exciting goalkicker, who was bothered by a finger issue in the pre-season.
Knee, groin and hamstring injuries restricted him to only 13 matches last year.
Meanwhile, Geelong captain Joel Selwood was a late inclusion, and then a late withdrawal, from the team to face the Kangaroos on Sunday and coach Chris Scott said the Cats won't take any chances with their leader.
Scott said it was an upper leg issue that kept Selwood out of last week's match against Essendon and a fresh lower leg problem that kept him out this weekend.
He said the Cats were hopeful of regaining Selwood for next weekend's clash against the Western Bulldogs, but would prioritise training this week.
"I suspect we won't know until late in the week so there is no point putting any extra energy into thinking about it,'' Scott said.
"Given they are separate issues, we are really confident that he will be right. But, having said that, we are going to prioritise training with him because it is not good practice in our view to have a really good player not train for a period of time and then just bring him in against good opposition and hope that he gets through. We are not in the business of hoping with injury."
Sam Menegola was also a late out of the Cats side with a knee problem and the Cats are also hopeful he will be back next round.
Gary Rohan's match ended in the third quarter after he was felled from a heavy bump from North Melbourne's Sam Durdin. But Scott did not want to speculate yet on how quickly he could recover.
"(He was) not good enough to come back on the field, which was a concern," Scott said.
"I suspect we won't know until late in the week so there is no point putting any extra energy into thinking about it."
Geelong also had injury concerns during the game with Tom Atkins (hip), but Scott expected him to come up for next week.
"He was a bit sore ... he was off for a long time ... it seems as if the outcome is pretty positive there,'' Scott said.
Tom Stewart was also assessed for concussion after a heavy hit in the third quarter before returning to the field.
Patrick Dangerfield took his place in the team after recovering from a knee injury against Essendon and was among the best in the Cats' win with 27 disposals and a goal.
"In combination from really good work from our medical team and his powers of recuperation, he convinced us he would be OK,'' Scott said.
"We were all surprised. He didn't look like he played with any limitation. Clearly he wasn't feeling nothing so it was a pretty good effort."
Matt Crouch sat out the second half of the Showdown win over Port Adelaide after copping a heavy knock to his left hip but the club is confident he will be right to play the Lions at the Gabba this weekend.
At 1-3 a month ago, the Crows have turned their season around with four wins on the trot to be 5-3 and the cavalry is set to arrive with several key players returning from injury in the next fortnight.
The biggest question at selection this week is whether Bryce Gibbs can get back into the side after missing the Showdown with a back complaint, and whether there is room for Josh Jenkins?
On the surface it would appear no to both. Gibbs is more likely but who makes way? Jenkins meanwhile will have to wait until Crows coaches decide to play him, Himmelberg and Walker together because the man they call 'The Big Easy' is in no danger of being dropped.
Matt Crouch (hip) test
Tom Doedee (knee) season
Richard Douglas (ankle) 1-2 weeks
Bryce Gibbs (back) test
Sam Jacobs (knee) 2 weeks
Josh Jenkins (ankle) TBC
Wayne Milera (shoulder) 2 weeks
Andrew McPherson (back) test
Paul Seedsman (knee) 1-2 weeks
The Lions had just one injured player in their entire squad before Saturday's loss to the Bulldogs.
When Zac Bailey limped off with a recurrence of the hamstring injury he suffered earlier in the season it became two.
That should mean Chris Fagan has options to start shaking up a side that carried a few passengers in Ballarat.
The reality though is there's not great depth there. The same handful of blokes have rotated in and out of the team for the past couple of years.
It is tough for Fagan because those seasoned players dominate in a powerhouse NEAFL side but struggle to make an impact in the AFL.
However it is not really rewarding form if those players are bunny-hopped by the younger players the club would like to see at the elite level.
Rhys Mathieson should return to bolster their contested footy after two weeks in the reserves on the comeback from a hamstring injury while Cedric Cox had been in great form until a personal issue slowed him down a little.
They like Brandon Starcevich too but he is only now back in full training after a hamstring and probably isn't an option for the AFL side for another month.
Marcus Adams (knee) 6 weeks
Zac Bailey (hamstring) TBC
Carlton coach Brendon Bolton wouldn't rule out a return for Kade Simpson and Nic Newman against Gold Coast but it would be a surprise if either were ready.
Liam Jones should return from concussion and rejoin a playing group torn between encouragement over their progress and irritation over the lack of reward.
The Blues have now lost five matches by 19 points or less, including two by less than a goal.
Patrick Cripps was awarded the Richard Pratt Medal and addressed the Carlton rooms after the Collingwood loss.
"The boys are frustrated. It's one that got away," Cripps told the Blues faithful.
"The ladder doesn't reflect where we are at as a group."
Charlie Curnow (ankle) TBC
Tom De Koning (knee) 3 weeks
Sam Docherty (knee) indefinite
Liam Jones (concussion) test
Kyn Lebois (hamstring) test
Harrison Macreadie (achilles) test
Nic Newman (knee) 1-2 weeks
Jarrod Pickett (knee) indefinite
Kade Simpson (hamstring) 2 weeks
Chris Mayne the big concern for Collingwood after a knock to the head courtesy of Steele Sidebottom's boot. Will be assessed during the week.
Mason Cox could press for selection after missing the past two with an ankle injury while James Aish also comes into consideration.
Jordan de Goey sported ice on his leg after the win over Carlton but the young gun, who played out the game, will be managed during the week ahead of Saturday's game against St Kilda.
Callum Brown spent time off the ground with cramp in the hamstring region but he too returned to play out the game. Brayden Maynard will be sore after a corkie to the hip.
Taylor Adams (groin) 3 weeks
Mason Cox (ankle) test
Chris Mayne (concussion) test
James Aish (concussion) test
Flynn Appleby (ankle) test
Dayne Beams (hip) test
Tyler Brown (shoulder) 2 weeks
Lynden Dunn (knee) season
Chris Mayne (concussion) test
Nathan Murphy (ankle) 1-2 weeks
Matt Scharenberg (knee) 4-5 weeks
Josh Thomas (ankle) TBC
Coach John Worsfold remains confident the Bombers' defensive stocks won't take another hit after Michael Hurley hurt his ankle in Friday night's loss to Sydney.
Essendon's season is hanging by a thread and it can ill afford to lose a player of Hurley's quality with Mitch Brown and Martin Gleeson among those already sidelined at Tullamarine.
Asked post-match about Hurley's injury, Worsfold said: "He's rolled his ankle. But obviously only to the level where it was sore, but he could still weight bear and get out there and play. You never really know how they pull up from it but we'd be confident he'll be OK."
Essendon otherwise escaped from Sydney unscathed, while midfielder Dylan Clarke (30 disposals, seven marks) and Kyle Langford (25 disposals, six tackles) pushed their case for a re-call in the club's VFL loss to Casey Demons.
Mitch Brown (wrist) 2 weeks
Sam Draper (knee) season
Orazio Fantasia (quad) 2 weeks
Martin Gleeson (cheekbone) 2 weeks
Michael Hurley (ankle) TBC
Tom Jok (knee) 2 weeks
Jayden Laverde (ankle) 1 week
Shaun McKernan (hamstring) 3 weeks
Kobe Mutch (hamstring) 5-7 weeks
Trent Mynott (hip) test
James Stewart (groin) 2 weeks
Connor Blakely was controversially left out of the team to face the Tigers, with the Dockers going in as selected after they added Blakely to their list of emergencies late on Friday.
"We'll get to Connor and consider it," coach Ross Lyon said.
"Connor at his best, and he's building to his best, is an important part of our 22."
Blakely will come under strong consideration to face Essendon next Saturday night at Marvel Stadium, and he could take the place of skipper Nat Fyfe who faces another nervous wait for the verdict of Match Review Officer Michael Christian, this time for an errant elbow to the face of Tiger Tom Lynch.
The Dockers' WAFL side Peel Thunder had a week off as the state league played a rep game against the SANFL (the SA state team won by seven points).
Hayden Ballantyne (hamstring) 4 weeks
Harley Bennell (calf) 3 weeks
Stephen Hill (quad) 4-5 weeks
Shane Kersten (foot) 4 weeks
Aaron Sandilands (calf) TBC
Sam Sturt (concussion) TBC
The Cats will make a call later in the week over captain Joel Selwood's availability against the Western Bulldogs.
It's likely to be a similar story with Gary Rohan, who was ironed out in a heavy bump from North Melbourne's Sam Durdin.
Selwood has a lower leg problem, Sam Menegola was a late withdrawal with a knee issue and Tom Atkins battled on with a hip injury.
The good news is Patrick Dangerfield showed no signs of the knee and ankle problems he suffered last week.
"We were all surprised," coach Chris Scott said. "He didn't look like he played with any limitation. Clearly he wasn't feeling nothing so it was a pretty good effort."
Joel Selwood (lower leg) TBC
Gary Rohan (concussion) TBC
Tom Atkins (hip) test
Sam Menegola (knee) TBC
Jed Bews (osteitis pubis) 1 week
Nakia Cockatoo (knee) indefinite
Jordan Cunico (ankle) 8-12 weeks
Sean Lemmens missed around eight weeks with an ankle injury before making his AFL return on Saturday night but it didn't last long.
The pressure forward was left clutching his left ankle early in the third term, leaving coach Stuart Dew to mull over who will replace Lemmens for this week's trip to South Australia to play Adelaide.
Leader George Horlin-Smith was dropped for Saturday's game against Melbourne and with little other options Dew could likely bring the former Geelong player back into the fold.
Callum Ah Chee (quad) 1 week
Brayden Crossley (hamstring) 2-3 weeks
Corey Ellis (ankle) test
Sam Fletcher (quad) 1 week
Sean Lemmens (ankle) test
Izak Rankine (hamstring) test
Brad Scheer (hand) TBC
Rory Thompson (knee) season
Harrison Wigg (knee) season
Jeremy Cameron could rub salt into the wounds of a terrible performance against Hawthorn with the Coleman Medal favourite in doubt for the Giants' clash against Carlton.
Cameron aggravated a shoulder problem early in the game after already having his head bandaged and being shoved into the fence by James Frawley.
He was comprehensively beaten by Frawley, finishing with just four marks and five shots on goal for four behinds and one out-on-the-full.
He had plenty of mates in a performance coach Leon Cameron described as "tripe".
The Giants had the bye in the NEAFL but Lachie Whitfield should be right to return from injury and young midfielder Jackson Hately is waiting in the wings.
Jeremy Cameron (shoulder) test
Aidan Corr (ankle) 1-2 weeks
Jonathon Patton (knee) TBC
Tommy Sheridan (calf) 3 weeks
Callan Ward (knee) Season
Lachie Whitfield (corked thigh/hip flexor) test
Jarryd Roughead couldn't do much more. Five goals and 17 disposals in the VFL is a fair day out. But, if we are reading the situation correctly, Alastair Clarkson wants to give his young forwards an extended chance to grow and stand on their own two feet without Roughead standing nearby in the same forward line. The baton has to be passed.
Mitch Lewis showed more promise as the Hawks posted an impressive 33-point win over GWS, kicking an important goal from the boundary in the third term. Isaac Smith should return from a foot problem against Richmond this weekend after pulling up sore from Thursday training.
Jack Scrimshaw (neck) TBC
Grant Birchall (calf/knee) indefinite
Tom Mitchell (broken leg) indefinite
Tim Mohr (dislocated knee/ACL) season
Sam Durdin could face scrutiny from the match review officer for a heavy bump on Geelong's Gary Rohan in the third quarter that took him out of the game.
But Kangaroos coach Brad Scott was unsure how the incident would be judged.
"I did see the Durdin-Rohan one and that's a tough one because I think that rule changes so often, I can't even keep up with where we're up to on that one," Scott said.
Durdin was a late inclusion in the side for Marley Williams, who missed for family reasons after attending a funeral in Perth.
But Scott anticipated his return to face Sydney on Saturday night.
"His family is quite distraught as everyone can understand so it was an easy decision to leave him in Perth, even though he had every intention of coming back," Scott said.
Key defender Scott Thompson had also been ruled out of the team on Saturday with an adductor injury and is also expected to be back next week.
"He was close. I thought it was always unlikely (he would play) … with experienced players like that I like to always give them up to the last minute. He just wasn't quite right," Scott said.
"He has been pretty resilient, I reckon he has missed seven or eight games through his entire career and two of those to suspension.
"He was so close you would anticipate that he would be right for next week."
Scott Thompson (adductor) test
Majak Daw (pelvis/hips) indefinite
Ben Jacobs (head/neck) indefinite
Tom McKenzie (back) TBC
Ed Vickers-Willis (knee) season
Will Walker (PCL) indefinite
Tom Wilkinson (ankle) 8-10 weeks
Marley Williams (ankle) test
Tom McDonald says Melbourne's finals race is still alive but the Demons will be without defender Michael Hibberd for as many as six weeks. Hibberd broke his collarbone in the Demons' nailbiting win over Gold Coast.
"If we lose many more games from here we have no chance at playing at the end of the year so every game is critical," McDonald, the hero of the Demons' one-point win against Gold Coast, told the club website. "To get the win that keeps us in the hunt, we are still coming from a long way back but we had to win."
Defender Jake Lever will play for the Casey Demons against Port Melbourne at Casey Fields next Saturday in his first game since Round 11 last year.
Hibberd had surgery yesterday. Jarrad McVeigh missing six weeks last year for an identical injury after having a plate inserted.
The Demons also have to assess the damage to Jake Melksham's foot after he pulled up sore after accidentally kicking the leg of a Suns player early in the last quarter.
He returned to the ground, as did Jordan Lewis after he rolled an ankle earlier in the game.
Mitch Hannan (knee) 1-2 weeks
Michael Hibberd (collarbone) TBC
Neville Jetta (knee) 10 weeks
Jay Kennedy-Harris (leg) 2 weeks
Kade Kolodjashnij (concussion) TBC
Jake Lever (knee) 1-2 weeks
Steven May (groin) 2-3 weeks
Corey Maynard (hip) 2 weeks
Jake Melksham (foot) TBC
Aaron Nietschke (knee) season
Joel Smith (groin) 6-8 weeks
Aaron vandenBerg (ankle) TBC
Guy Walker (shoulder) indefinite
Ken Hinkley has an interesting week coming up as Port Adelaide hosts Gold Coast at Adelaide Oval on Sunday.
He cannot put the heat on his team for the 20-point loss to Adelaide in Showdown 46 because there is no question about the effort, commitment and willingness to play to the end from his players.
Hinkley does have to rethink how he sets up his attack after a derby-high 69 inside-50 entries delivered just nine goals - and none from the key forwards he opted for from the start of Showdown 46.
The case to promote ruckman-forward Billy Frampton for the first time this season will be more pressing.
On the injury front, Port Adelaide this week will declare the damage to Hawthorn recruit Ryan Burton's hamstring that gave way in the first 10 minutes of the derby.
"It's a small hamstring," Hinkley said of the defender's health.
"We will see what the scan says. We will tell you the facts when we know them. At the moment, we are not sure."
And there are still facts to be delivered on the state of co-captain Tom Jonas' recovery from a calf complaint that has kept him on the sidelines for three weeks now.
Ryan Burton (hamstring) TBC
Charlie Dixon (leg) indefinite
Brad Ebert (concussion) test
Robbie Gray (hand) 2 weeks
Hamish Hartlett (hamstring) 2 weeks
Sam Hayes (knee) 1-2 weeks
Tom Jonas (calf) test
Jake Patmore (knee) season
Jack Watts (leg) indefinite
Ollie Wines (ankle) 5 weeks
The injury list continues to grow and Damien Hardwick has already ruled Toby Nankervis and Jack Ross out of next week's clash against Hawthorn.
Nankeveris suffered a groin injury while Nat Fyfe stomped on Ross's ankle. Both players were out of the game against Fremantle before halftime and had to watch their teammates pull off a stirring win.
The question for Hardwick will be whether to bring in a like-for-like ruckman in Ivan Soldo or back young tyro Noah Balta against Ben McEvoy.
Balta played his best game after being forced to play as the No.1 ruckman, finishing with a team-high five clearances to go with 12 hitouts, 13 possessions (10 contested) and a goal.
"Obviously, Noah is a young first-year player so to see his effort and intent in the ruck, and for Nathan Broad to pinch-hit in there, I thought we looked really solid," Hardwick said.
The Tigers will hope to regain injured pair Nick Vlastuin and Daniel Rioli next week.
Toby Nankervis (groin) TBC
Jack Ross (foot) TBC
Daniel Rioli (ribs/thigh) test
Nick Vlastuin (ankle) test
Jayden Short (elbow) indefinite
Trent Cotchin (hamstring) 3-4 weeks
Luke English (tonsillitis) 1-2 weeks
Jack Graham (hamstring) 1-2 weeks
Shaun Grigg (knee/hip) indefinite
Oleg Markov (knee) test
Callum Moore (ankle) indefinite
Alex Rance (knee) season
Jack Riewoldt (PCL) 5-7 weeks
It was gritty and anything but pretty but the Saints can still take heart from their three-goal loss to the Eagles.
The first half saw them take plenty of risks and move quickly, but they just couldn't do it for long enough and were cost by their execution.
They got through unscathed, which was another bonus after having a number of key players sidelined so far this season.
Blake Acres was left winded after an off-the-ball bump from Jeremy McGovern - which could face match review scrutiny - but that was it as the Saints went down by three goals.
Max King played three quarters in his VFL debut, while coach Alan Richardson said things are on track for Dan Hannebery and Jake Carlisle to hopefully feature after the bye.
The news isn't as good for Dylan Roberton, who continues to search for answers for his heart issue.
Roberton has not played since Round 4 of last season as he continues to seek answers for the heart condition that he said remains a mystery after it reared its head again in the pre-season.
And he could head abroad.
"There is still a lot of work to do in terms of finding a diagnosis," Roberton said on Channel 7.
"I'm not doing much at the moment but hopefully looking to get a couple of opinions and maybe head overseas and see what the go is over there just to get a bit more of an understanding … hopefully we can find out before the end of the year."
Logan Austin (shoulder) indefinite
Jack Bytel (back) season
Jack Carlisle (back) indefinite
Jack Steven (mental health) indefinite
Dan Hannebery (hamstring) indefinite
Jarryn Geary (quad) indefinite
Jack Lonie (knee) 8-10 weeks
Paddy McCartin (concussion) indefinite
Dylan Roberton (heart) season
The youngsters stepped up last Friday night to help the Swans notch their second win of the season to climb off the bottom of the ladder.
Sydney will be hoping Lance Franklin can shrug off his hamstring injury in time for Saturday night's match against North Melbourne after he failed a fitness test prior to the Essendon game.
Should he return this week, Buddy will be slated to play his 300th match against former club Hawthorn in Round 14.
Ex-Cat Dan Menzel played his first game in Swans colours in the NEAFL in his return from an ankle injury, kicking three goals from 11 disposals and five marks, while dumped small forward Ben Ronke responded with two goals and 20 disposals.
Ryan Clarke continues to build his case for a recall after another 40-disposal game.
Harry Cunningham (groin/adductor) 5-7 weeks
Lance Franklin (hamstring) test
Heath Grundy (back) 2-3 weeks
Kieran Jack (concussion) test
Jarrad McVeigh (quad) 2-3 weeks
Jack Maibum (knee) season
Daniel Menzel (groin) test
Sam Naismith (knee) TBC
Sam Reid (hip) TBC
Nick Smith (hamstring) TBC
Durak Tucker (knee) indefinite
West Coast notched their second straight win without getting out of second gear. While they didn't blow the Saints or Suns out of the water, the form of their key players has been encouraging.
Elliot Yeo appears to be back to his damaging best after a slow start to the year, while Andrew Gaff and Dom Sheed have had a fruitful fortnight.
There were no injury concerns from Saturday night with Jeremy McGovern coming back on the ground after sustaining a cut above his eye.
West Coast's WAFL side didn't play over the weekend, so they are unlikely to make too many changes for their clash with the Dees at home, but their weak ruck stocks may need to be bolstered for their date with Max Gawn.
Tom Hickey was close to a return from injury this week and will come into calculations, with two pronged ruck outfits being the best plan of attack to quell his influence.
Young forward Jake Waterman (13 disposals and seven marks) was solid in his first game back from injury, while Lewis Jetta (8 disposals) was quiet but should keep his place in the side.
Willie Rioli (foot) is a chance to return to the Eagles line up in the next fortnight.
Tom Barrass (foot) 7-9 weeks
Patrick Bines (hernia) TBC
Hamish Brayshaw (toe) 2-3 weeks
Jarrod Cameron (wrist) 1 week
Tom Hickey (hamstring) test
Nic Naitanui (knee) Indefinite
Willie Rioli (foot) 1 week
Francis Watson (shoulder) 1 week
Ruckman Tim English was a late withdrawal on Saturday against Brisbane. Coach Luke Beveridge said the youngster missed with soreness but he expected him to return against Geelong. In his absence Jackson Trengove filled in and played his best game for the season. He will likely move back to defence against the Cats, possibly to play on Tom Hawkins, with Fletcher Roberts the likely out for English.
Ben Cavarra (hamstring) TBC
Taylor Duryea (hip) 3-5 weeks
Fergus Greene (ankle) 2-3 weeks
Lin Jong (appendix) 1 week
Dale Morris (knee) 4-5 weeks