Peter Wright’s day turned from celebration to disaster when Essendon’s best and fairest player suffered a dislocated shoulder in training.
It’s a solid blow for the Bombers ahead of Sunday’s AFL season opener against arch-rivals Hawthorn at the MCG.
On Friday morning, the Bombers announced that key forward Wright had signed a four-year deal. Only two hours later he fell wounded.
It’s unclear when Wright, who led Essendon’s goalkicks career last year with a leading 53, will return to the side.
The Bombers offense was already without Jake Stringer, who didn’t come in time from a hamstring problem.
Ex-Melbourne striker Sam Weidman is set to make his Essendon debut, and ex-captains Dyson Heppel (foot) and J Caldwell are also selected.
Former GWS Will Starfield and Carlton onballer will make his debut with the Bombers, with Anthony McDonald-Tipungwuti named as an emergency.
Father and son recruit Alwyn Davey Jr. will also make his NFL debut.
Hawthorn midfielder Harry Morrison did not recover in time from his hamstring injury.
Under coach Ross Lyon’s predictions, St Kilda will debut their No. 10 draft pick, Mattis Filippou, and Anthony Camienetti in the offseason, at Sunday’s Marvel Stadium game against Fremantle.
While Filippo’s pre-season form meant his debut came as no surprise, Cammenetti was only brought in last month and will play following pre-season injuries to fellow striker Max King (shoulder) and Tim Membre (knee).
The Saints, however, lost Marcus Windhager to a hand injury.
Star recruits Luke Jackson and Jaeger O’Meara will play their first games with the Dockers and Nathan Wilson will return from injury.
Former Adelaide captain Rory Sloane will return from his AFL injury last April on Sunday in the first leg against GWS.
Former Gold Coast star Isaac Rankin will make his debut for the Crows, who will also partner Max Michalani.
After missing last season with foot and hamstring injuries, forward Brent Daniels will return to the Giants.
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