Bombers ponder smartest move for fit Joe Daniher

‘‘The fixtures play a part overall in how we manage Joe throughout the next month, that’s an important part of what we’ll take into account.’’

Essendon’s tight turnaround between marquee games could tempt them into giving Daniher a week in the VFL before he makes his long-anticipated return.

The Bombers face North Melbourne off a six-day break on Good Friday before they take on Collingwood on Anzac Day six days later.

Daniher did not play after round seven last season because of osteitis pubis, while a calf muscle injury sidelined him during the pre-season. Daniher’s return could come at the expense of ruck-forward Zac Clarke, who has made a quiet start since joining the Bombers from Fremantle.

It remains unlikely that Essendon could play all three of Clarke, Daniher and Tom Bellchambers.
Worsfold said he wouldn’t hesitate to throw Daniher into the ruck at times despite his injury history.

‘‘Playing in the ruck, he doesn’t jump any higher than he does when he jumps on blokes’ heads at full forward,’’ Worsfold said.

‘‘Whether he plays any time in the ruck or not, it doesn’t change his workload. In some ways, it lessens it.’’

The Bombers will be hoping Daniher, who has just turned 25, can return to the form in which he was a dominant force before his injury early last season.

In 2015, 2016 and 2017, Daniher kicked 142 goals in 67 games, which culminated in him being named All-Australian full-forward in 2017 and being rewarded with a new contract.

Essendon had a dreadful start to the season but improved their record to 2-2 with an impressive win over Brisbane last week.


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