WINLESS Essendon has lost key trio Dylan Shiel, Sam Draper and Jye Caldwell for at least the next six weeks of the AFL season.
The three were hurt in Saturday’s loss to Port Adelaide with ruckman Draper to miss up to 10 matches because of an ankle injury.
Onballer Caldwell has been ruled out for six to eight games because of a hamstring tear while prime mover Shiel will miss at least six weeks due to a knee injury.
Shiel will have an arthroscopy operation this week after scans revealed meniscal damage in a knee.
“We will know more about the timeframes for his return following this procedure over the coming days,” Essendon’s football manager Josh Mahoney said in a statement on Monday.
“At this stage, we don’t anticipate he will return to the field for at least the next four to six weeks.”
Draper suffered a syndesmosis injury in an ankle.
“Sam will see a specialist in the coming days with confirmation of a syndesmosis injury, but we are hopeful he will be back and playing for the second half of the season,” Mahoney said.
Caldwell’s hamstring strain was “significant” and would sideline him for at least six weeks, he said.
(C) AAP 2021