Bombers go easy with Hurley
Essendon are hopeful Michael Hurley will make a full recovery from a hip infection but are unable to put a date on his return for now.
Hurley has been dogged by the issue throughout pre-season and was first admitted to hospital earlier this month, before it flared up again last weekend.
His second stint in hospital is now over after he was discharged on Tuesday but it remains to be seen when he will be able to make a return to training.
The serious nature of the infection means the Bombers are adopting a cautious approach with his recovery and certainly won't be rushing the process.
The club are confident he will make a full recovery, but with round one fast approaching the opening to the 2021 AFL campaign could come too soon.
"First and foremost, Michael's health and wellbeing is our main priority right now and he is now recovering after being in hospital again over recent days," Essendon football manager Josh Mahoney said.
"Having spoken with Michael, he is in reasonably good spirits but is now resting and in recovery. We do need to see how he responds as the infection clears over the coming days before we can put any timelines on his return to the club and training.
"We'll continue to take a conservative approach with the management of this infection with Michael but we're hopeful of a full recovery soon."
Hurley is not the only concern for the Bombers ahead of round one with Jake Stringer also battling to overcome an Achilles injury.
The Bombers are priced at 66/1 to win the AFL grand final.
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