MELBOURNE’S Jack Watts is likely to be missing from the senior squad until at least round four after being on a modified program by the Demons on return from a back injury.
The 2008 No.1 draft selection appeared sharp playing just more than half a match on Saturday for Casey Scorpions but Demons development coach and Scorpions coach Brad Gotch said he is likely to play another two games in the VFL.
“He’s starting to get his touch back I reckon,” Gotch told The Age.
“ It’s only his second game back. He only played 50 per cent last week and he played about 60 per cent this week.”
“I thought he contributed pretty well.”
“You’d be hoping that he’d want to step up to 75 or 80 per cent next week and then the week after he will maybe play a full game (in the VFL),” he said.
Gotch said Watts had a setback just before the start of the season in which he suffered a thigh injury.
“He’s had an interrupted pre-season. He had some back complaints and then he had thigh trouble as well which was just a little niggle from kicking so that held him back for quite a few weeks,” he said.
Essendon will regain Mark McVeigh for Sunday’s clash against Fremantle after serving a one week suspension from last year’s elimination final.
He dominated in the midfield for Bendigo Bombers on Saturday.
Nathan Lovett-Murray, who is also on suspension until round three, played a solid game for Bendigo, along with Michael Hurley, who also played for Bendigo but faces a club imposed ban until round four.
Bachar Houli, Sam Lonergan and Darcy Daniher were all solid contributors in Bendigo’s 10-goal win over Casey in a VFL practice match.
Draftee Jake Melksham was also impressive up forward.
By Brent Diamond